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The Japanese folktales that inspired Miyamori

Last summer, we stumbled across Miyamori, a lovely folktale-infused videogame about Japanese mythology in the Tōhoku countryside. The game follows a Japanese woman named Suzume as she attempts to find her missing brother. Joined by the shrine guardian fox Izuna—who is looking for her partner Gedo—the game follows Suzume and Izuna’s journey through the countryside to find their missing halves. Since then, Miyamori has been seen in action for the first time to due to the arrival of its debut trailer, released earlier this month. Hence, it seems as good a time as any to talk to Joshua Hurd, one of…


Nicky Case’s newest game looks at how media shapes us

Two years ago, game designer Nicky Case was trying to process the events in Ferguson. Inspired by an image showing how camera framing can alter how a story is perceived, Case went about creating a game playing upon these notions. Though the initial post about the game went viral, Case admits they couldn’t find a way to extend the idea further and subsequently dropped it altogether. Then, the summer of 2016 happened. From the shootings in Orlando and Dallas to Alton Sterling and Philando Castile, the summer was wrought with one tragedy after another. At around the same time, Case…


Framed 2 will bring more comic-panel shuffling to videogames

Acclaimed noir puzzle game Framed was touted for its ingenuity, taking elements of comic-book panel design and implementing them into its videogame format. Much of the story, then, existed outside of Framed‘s panels, allowing players to fill in the blanks. Lead designer Joshua Boggs attributes this idea to Scott McCloud’s Understanding Comics (1993): “The level of detail and investigation [McCloud] does in Understanding Comics was absolutely pivotal for Framed, and still is to this day.” Announced last week, Framed 2 will be released in early 2017, acting as a prequel to the first game. Panel switching is an important element in Framed 2, too, but it won’t be exactly the same. “For Framed 2, we’ve…

The Chess Players

Kill Screen is looking for a new Editorial Director

Yesterday, Kill Screen‘s Editorial Director, Clayton Purdom, announced his departure in the only way he knows how. We’re sad to see him go. But that does mean we’re now looking to fill that gap he has left behind. In short, we’re looking for someone who can steer the ship of all of Kill Screen‘s editorial properties going forward. Come make us awesome! That includes our print magazine, the Kill Screen website, and its sister sites, Versions and The Meta. They’ll also help to direct the events related to those three websites as well as any other creative projects the team dives…

Recent News

Issue 9

Our relaunched magazine is here!

Kill Screen Issue 9 kicks off our all-new relaunch. Games are exploding into all sorts of weird new experiences and we’re on the ground to let you know what’s what. From deeply reported features on Lily Zone and the creators of Kentucky Route Zero to gorgeous original photography and illustrations, Issue 9 is a vibrant, accessible vision of videogame culture that we can’t wait for you to read.

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A Normal Lost Phone

Videogame invites you to discover someone through their lost phone

You find a phone on the ground outside. You look around, but there’s no one in sight. Hoping that there will be some information to help you contact the owner, you turn the phone on. This is where the preview for A Normal Lost Phone starts. Immediately, four messages pop up on the phone, sent over the last couple hours from the owner’s dad. “Where are you?”; “Where did you go?” Accidental Queens, the collective that created A Normal Lost Phone, list Her Story (2015), Gone Home (2013), and Life is Strange (2015) as their main inspirations. It feels most strongly…


Mini Metro now lets you fix the subway, while you’re riding the subway

My walk to work is rife with construction; large swaths of land are cordoned off, sidewalks reworked and traffic patterns changed, all because of a big green stripe being added to our Massachusetts Bay Transportation Authority maps. A project in the works since 1990, the Green Line Extension project only actually started to take shape in 2012. The MBTA started to put down the bones. And then it was halted. Revised. There’s a new plan now, but things still seem shaky. As it turns out, reworking a city’s transit system isn’t is easy as plopping a line down on a map. But…


Post Apoc Dating Sim will let you make sweet, sweet love to a toaster

“If I ever had rust, would this bother you?” You’re halfway through a second glass of wine at this point. Tina is sitting on the table across from you, anxiously awaiting a response. Her body is shapely—mainly square, but boy do those four corners look sharp. The shiny chrome of her skin reflects the sun, bright and hot. The two slits located at the top of her form contain soft, delicious pieces of bread just begging to be warmed up. Tina is a toaster. You don’t judge. There’s no room to be picky in the post-apocalypse, and this was starting…


Let’s talk about all the animals in the Red Dead Redemption 2 trailer

We all sat around in hushed anticipation, our hearts racing for our first glimpse at Rockstar Games’s official foray into the current generation of consoles. We could hardly wait, our noses nearly touching our screens we leaned in so close, as if to not miss a single polygon. And then it started, and for one minute and eight seconds, we got our first look at Red Dead Redemption 2.  Which is all well and good, sure. But did you fucking see all those animals?! Let’s talk about that. At merely seven seconds we see our first horse, the Cadillac of the…


Virtual war zones and the failure of the military shooter

In October 2008, chaos gripped Mumbai for four days as a series of coordinated bombings and shootings killed 164 people and injured hundreds more. All 10 attackers were highly trained and linked to a command center in Pakistan via VOIP technology. The command center, using TV and social media feeds as intelligence sources, gave the attackers a sixth sense in predicting security force’s movements and reactions. It was a grim portent of where we find ourselves in 2016—a place where the deliberate disruption and destruction of public spaces and networks is the latest tactic in modern warfare, a place videogames…

Nintendo Switch

Nintendo Switch lets you take games anywhere

Nintendo has finally unveiled its next big console. Codenamed Nintendo NX, today the Mario-faced company revealed the Nintendo Switch with a proper three-and-a-half minute trailer. The “Switch” name refers to the console’s dual purpose. Where there was once a time when Nintendo had separate handheld and home consoles, it has now combined the two. Essentially, Nintendo has created its own entry in the Transformer series, except it has no vehicular form or giant robot fists. it almost feels like a tribute to Nintendo’s history of consoles In its first form, the Nintendo Switch sits in a dock in your living…


Robot Sports bring man and machine together

This article is part of a collaboration with iQ by Intel. From cage matches to laser tag, artificially intelligent machines are opening a new world of sports competition. The finale of the Syfy Channel’s 2013 Robot Combat League was one for the history books. Never before had competitive sports fans witnessed one-ton robots, towering eight-foot high, face off in a mechanical death match. The two competitors, Crash and Steampunk, banged chests as sparks and smoke filled the arena. Just outside the ring, each robot was controlled by a team consisting of a robo-jockey wearing an exosuit that controls the robot’s arms…


A boardgame about climate change that melts as you play

The world is warming up. This we know. Over its long, long life, the Earth has gone through multiple cycles of cooling and heating up again, or glacial advance and retreat. These are largely attributed to small shifts in the Earth’s orbit, which change the amount of solar energy received by the planet. To find reasons for the current heating up of the globe, however, we must look to no one but ourselves. As we pump greenhouses gases into the atmosphere, wrapping ourselves in a giant, insulating, carbon dioxide blanket, the sea level rises and the ice sheets shrink; the…


Fantasy RPGs always felt like a desk job anyway

There’s a lot to manage in a role-playing game. It can almost feeling like having a desk job—managing inventory, grinding work, looming bosses. Add with crafting, foraging, and upgrading gear on top of that it’s no wonder I keep asking myself why I repeatedly subject myself to RPG work. Not everyone loves crafting, after all. Andrew Morrish’s upcoming Kingsway is a fantasy RPG that riffs on the idea that the game is like a desk job, “pointing out the similarities between managing an RPG and daily tasks on a computer,” Morrish said. Players will have to rifle through a Windows 95–inspired operating system to navigate a…


SUPERHYPERCUBE is here to make VR worthwhile

Sign up to receive each week’s Playlist e-mail here! Also check out our full, interactive Playlist section. SUPERHYPERCUBE (PS4) BY KOKOROMI In this new dawn of virtual reality, people will try to port all sorts of things into VR that shouldn’t be there. Yet for every egregious Until Dawn DLC, there’s a SUPERHYPERCUBE to remind you that matches made in heaven still exist. Comparable to the look and pacing of Tetris, in SUPERHYPERCUBE you must rotate and arrange a cluster of cubes to fit through an impending wall. Despite sharing some DNA with 2D classics, SUPERHYPERCUBE feels like a beast of its…