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
Horror media relies, predominately, on our ability to suspend our disbelief and sense of reason. We know, somewhere, that there is not a monster under our bed, but with only the slightest provocation we can all too easily convince ourselves otherwise. Sometimes, this paranoia can cause us to entirely mistake fiction for truth, and as early as 1938 with the radio production of H. G. Wells’ The War of the Worlds horror creators have been doing their best to blur the boundary of reality to increasingly disquieting effect. Continue reading Sara Is Missing is a Ghost Story for the Digital Age
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
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
Near the end of the 16th century, Portugal, after being contested by Britain and France for control of the current slave trade along the West African coast, turned their attention toward Luanda (capital of modern day Angola) as a new source of black bodies to enslave. Continue reading Tahira: Echoes of the Astral Empire recalls history’s recursive war for equality
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
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
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
This post is a supplement to my original Metrico review, concerned primarily with how Metrico+ differs from the original. For more on Metrico, please see my review of the Vita version.
Originally released exclusively for the Playstation Vita in 2014, Metrico was so heavily entwined with the Vita’s hardware that it was difficult to imagine how developer Digital Dreams would replicate it on other platforms. The short answer is that Metrico+ both is and isn’t the game released on Vita just over two years ago. Continue reading Metrico+ isn’t a simple port, it’s a rebirth.
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”