Tag Archives: itch.io

Killing Time at Lightspeed and the Ordinary Horror of Losing Touch

You are hurtling away from Mars aboard a vessel traveling at the speed of light; a journey of 29 years experienced in less than an hour. Behind you are your friends, family, the life you once lived. You seek something better at the far end of the galaxy, a fresh start in a new world. But still, you cling to pieces of your former life like a raft in the infinite void. You turn on your phone to check FriendPage, but with each refresh, years roll by for those you left behind. You are left to fill in the blanks as news travels slow, painfully slow, and you witness the lives of those you left behind as an in-flight movie, watching from afar more disconnected than ever. Continue reading Killing Time at Lightspeed and the Ordinary Horror of Losing Touch

2016, Games Criticism, and The Inescapable Madness of BUY2BILLIONFOLLOWE

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

Expand teaches you to dance like a level designer

Expand’s greatest deception is in giving the impression that its stark black and white and red color palette and plain geometric characters were born out of an inability to do anything more. Sandwiched between so many half-finished platformers and blocky top-down shooters, it is all too easy to cast Expand in with the lot as just another amateur, dismissible production. Expand is in turns far too subtle for its own good, as what screenshots fail to convey is the elegance and creativity that guides each screen and level of a game that in many ways closer approximates a digital dance. Continue reading Expand teaches you to dance like a level designer

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

3AM Reminds Us Of The Simple Joy Of A Late Night Cup Of Tea

Insomnia has been an unwelcome guest in my life for as long as I can remember. It’s a bit like a nocturnal puppy, waiting until you are just easing into bed and then deciding it is time to play, springing on you like a snake in a can and refusing to let you go to sleep until it’s had some fun. Usually this amounts to lying in bed silently counting off the seconds of sleep you’ve already missed out on as you roll around only to discover your bed has been replaced with what feels like a pile of rocks. None of the magic remedies seem to work, and at some point between contemplating how hard you’d have to hit yourself in the head to pass out and whether you should just give up on the idea of sleep altogether, you took out your phone and now it is all over. Continue reading 3AM Reminds Us Of The Simple Joy Of A Late Night Cup Of Tea

Quick Thoughts On: The Hole Story

Girls Make Games is one of the coolest things happening in the games industry right now. As a summer camp it’s helping to teach young women how to make games and close the gaping gender gap that has been an issue in-game development for decades. Even more than that it’s giving these up and coming developers a means to turn their ideas and newfound knowledge into actual full-blown games, the first being The Hole Story which won the 2014 GMG camp grand prize and was followed up with a successful Kickstarter campaign raising over $31,000. Continue reading Quick Thoughts On: The Hole Story

Beeswing – Review

“I guess everything can be condensed into a soundbyte now.”

I had been talking to a character, attempting to console him after the death of his mother with the notion he was nearing the last of the five stages of grief. It seemed a throwaway comment, but his response left me shaken. The simpleness with which I had uttered supportive comments – told people that everything will be alright and they’ll get through this – were suddenly laid bare and hollow, having been said to so many that they came almost automatically and without any real meaning behind them. How then must those actually going through these traumas feel? Being forced to listen to my fabricated condolences and pretending they mean something, when they can likely see better than anyone how forced these words are? Continue reading Beeswing – Review

Dreaming Sarah – Review

Dreams are a rare occurence for me. Going to sleep usually causes me to fall into complete emptiness, or hover just between alert and unconscious as I struggle not to wake myself up. When I do dream though, it’s because something is wrong. When I’m feeling scared, or guilty, or anxious, these feelings manifest themselves in vividly internalized strangeness that often cause me to wake suddenly in a sweat, and then just as quickly slip away as I attempt to recall what happened. Continue reading Dreaming Sarah – Review