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rain world

See how far the incredible alien planet of Rain World has come

Unveiled over the weekend during PlayStation Experience, the new trailer for Rain World opens with a heavy, droning noise, and a single white slugcat, in a dark industrial world. First it states “you are alone.” Then, a moment before the cut, a question mark appears. “You are alone?” As the soundtrack blooms into a driving synth song, the world also opens up, revealing an elaborate ecosystem where the slugcat is both predator and prey. Rain World was originally funded on Kickstarter in 2014, and was slated to come out later that year. But this new trailer shows just how far…


SHENZEN I/O is here to make you code like it’s the 1980s

Sign up to receive each week’s Playlist e-mail here! Also check out our full, interactive Playlist section. SHENZEN I/O (Windows, Mac) BY ZACHTRONICS Some games and educational apps try to ease you into the art of writing code. SHENZEN I/O isn’t so soft. It’s a throwback to the 1980s, when there wasn’t much so media geared towards teaching people how to code. Hence, it begins its lessons by throwing a hefty manual (which you can print out) and a number of circuit-based challenges at you, and then leaves you to figure it out. There’s a little bit of guidance at first but…

Alto's Odyssey

Alto’s Adventure creators tease their next game, Alto’s Odyssey

“Long before Alto’s Adventure had even been released, we started working on an idea for what might come next,” Ryan Cash tells me. “Today, we’re finally ready to announce it: Alto’s Odyssey.” This is all that Cash and his crew at Toronto-based studio Built By Snowman will say about their next game. Alto’s Odyssey, due out in 2017, is the follow-up to last year’s downhill snowboarding game Alto’s Adventure, which was released on mobile, and memorable for its stunning moutainscapes, wordless storytelling, and pleasantly looping play. a return of the angular art style The only clue we have as to the direction…


The invention of BARCHboi, the videogame deity

For the past couple of years, the digital artist and game maker known as BARCHboi has kept himself secretive. His primary online identity has been a logo of a portrait with a black bar across the eyes, overlaid with glitches. Now BARCHboi (real name: Joseph Dowsett) has made himself naked. His new “exploration glitchventure game” DEIDIA comes with an autobiographical making-of document that traces his creative history as far back as 2007, when he was 13 years old, going through all the struggles between then and now that brought him to make his latest interactive artefact. The document is fascinating…

Recent News

Issue 10

Issue 10 is out now!

Kill Screen Issue 10 has arrived! Inside you’ll find features on Vlambeer’s globetrotting Rami Ismail, gay sex game designer Robert Yang, and more, as well as a field guide to appreciating modern pixel art, a deep dive into the player-game relationship, and an extensive reevaluation of the much-maligned Wii Music. Also: the definitive ranking of videogame dogs, the legacy of Lisa Frank, and a look at Gaspar Noe’s cinema of excess.

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Saddle up: Oblivion is now backwards compatible

Microsoft’s been rolling out a lot of new backwards-compatible games this month, the latest of which is 2006’s beloved The Elder Scrolls IV: Oblivion. Bethesda tweeted that Oblivion, and all its DLC with the exception of Shivering Isles, was available for download on the Microsoft store. As always, if you still have the original disc, your game will be downloaded free of charge. Oblivion, which has been out for over 10 years, arrives right on the coattails of backwards-compatible versions of Mass Effect 2 (2010) and 3 (2012), which were debuted earlier this month. Bethesda’s banking on the nostalgia Though the…


Need a break from the world? Chill out on a virtual island

Don’t you ever wish you could escape to a remote island just to get away from it all, even for five or 10 minutes? If so, check out ROM, a “short experimental experience” created by HTW Berlin students Paul Schnepf, Rainer Windolph, and Friedemann Allmenröder. Created as part of the Game Design BA curriculum, ROM allows you to explore a desolate island and take control of its environment. Revive its ancient machines to alter the weather and bring the island back to life. Activating one machine causes snow to cover the land; another brings on a sudden driving rainstorm accompanied by…


From small beginnings to Esports stardom

This article is part of a collaboration with iQ by Intel. After church on Sunday, 13-year-old Christine “Potter” Chi followed her brother and his friends to an amateur Counter-Strike tournament at the Mug and Mouse LAN cafe in Dallas, Texas. While sipping boba tea, Potter and her reluctant friends watched as the teams faced off with nothing but pride on the line. “Once I realized they were going versus each other, it sparked my competitive side,” she said.More than a decade and a half later, Potter has five Counter-Strike world championships under her belt and is a reminder of just…


New publisher confirms Gorogoa and What Remains of Edith Finch for spring 2017

It’s good news time: two of Kill Screen‘s most anticipated games have signed up to a new publisher and have been confirmed for arrival in spring 2017. Those games are the visual-art puzzle game Gorogoa and the haunting short story collection What Remains of Edith Finch. More on those two games in a sec, but first, who is this new publisher? It’s called Annapurna Interactive, a new division of the Hollywood-based production company Annapurna Pictures—who are behind films like Her (2013), Zero Dark Thirty (2012), and this year’s Sausage Party—which will be dedicated to producing and publishing videogames. We’re told…

The Signal From Tolva

A quick look at the landscape art of The Signal From Tölva

For most players, The Signal From Tölva will be a game about shooting robots and acquiring a range of whirring-and-whistling mechanical guns to do it with. But for some it might also function as an explorable gallery of sci-fi landscapes (just like No Man’s Sky has for some)—sparse wastelands, dingy hazard zones, and alien meadows. This is at least true for its creators at British game studio Big Robot, and especially its creative director Jim Rossignol, who I was told had spent hours carefully considering the placement of rocks in the game at the Eurogamer Expo back in September. Agonizing over…


Rearrange a world of typography in unWorded

Sign up to receive each week’s Playlist e-mail here! Also check out our full, interactive Playlist section. unWorded (iOS) BY BENTO STUDIO A hospitalized writer reflects on his life with the strange tales he has read and written over the years. This is the premise narrative puzzle game unWorded. It’s set in a world made of letters, which immediately draws comparison to Type:Rider and DEVICE 6, but it’s only an interest in typography that connects them. unWorded’s unique task is in creating pictures out of letters and punctuation. As the writer reads books from his past, you might have to piece together parenthesis and the…


The key to pleasant online game communities? Get rid of chat

Today, Might and Delight rolled out the first of many updates for its “online fable experience” Meadow, in which players roam and survive an open wilderness as various animals. The update added a new playable fox, a “Home” feature that lets you set any location as your animal’s home, new emotes for each animal, and new music. Larger updates are planned and will be released on December 15th and January 18th. Meadow is the first online game that Might and Delight has made after specializing in single player games like side-scrolling platformer Pid and badger survival game Shelter. The studio’s Vic Bassey told me…


A videogame about surveillance that’s designed to be hacked

The popularity of hacking fantasies today has more in common with a legend like Robin Hood than what might be immediately apparent. In both cases, one of society’s underdogs has found a way to cheat the systems upheld by authorities and turn them on their head—either through stealing money or hacking into computers. The technology and techniques have changed over the years but not the underlying desire. It’s only one strand of evidence that suggests cheating is an integral part of the human condition. This is something that Damien, the disabled dad and husband behind Sheffield-based game studio Ninja in A…

A Normal Lost Phone

A Normal Lost Phone aims to find the personal stories in our digital lives

If you’re trying to reach as many people as possible with a game it makes sense that you use an interface they’re already familiar with. Rather than requiring players to learn the ins-and-outs of a new interface it’s probably easier to use one that already exists in their daily life. This is part of the reasoning why Accidental Queens, a three-woman team based in France, chose to give players a convincing recreation of a smartphone to interact with their story in A Normal Lost Phone. The idea in the game is to explore a teenager’s life through their mobile phone, digging through the secrets left…

ultima online second age (UK)

Tech Heroes Save Old Game Worlds from Extinction

This article is part of a collaboration with iQ by Intel. When game servers are turned off, massively multiplayer online communities can come crashing down. Now, however, fans can take matters into their own hands using technologies like cloud computing. The YouTuber A. Kaiser’s career as a Jedi would soon be over. He had played the massively multiplayer online game (MMO) Star Wars Galaxies (2003) for eight years. Now that the game was closing, he could think of no better way to spend his final day in the world than among friends. A flock of players were standing around in Tatooine,…