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tick tock isle

Go back in time to save time in the adorable Tick Tock Isle

Described as a spiritual successor to the delightful Cat Poke, Tick Tock Isle is a point and click adventure game that doesn’t want to reinvent the wheel—and it’ll charm the pants out of anyone who thinks that wheel is outdated or boring. The demo was originally released four years ago by the duo of Jason Boyer and Ryan Pietz. “We spent an entire summer designing our biggest game yet,” Boyer writes on his blog. “Unfortunately, we didn’t have anyone to program it beyond a demo, so it lingered in our unfulfilled dreams folder.” Finally in April 2015, they decided to “make our dream a reality and…


Facebook’s looking to streamline your next breakup

I started dating when MSN Messenger was still a thing and started breaking up in the era of Facebook, which was a good system right up until the moment that it wasn’t. That last comment is probably a fair description of all relationships. Social media did not create the awkwardness of breakups, but it did lengthen the gauntlet through which the newly single must run, and running is hard when all you want to do is stay in bed with Netflix and a tub of ice cream. Facebook has apparently decided to do something about this 21st century problem. In a…

Letter To A Friend

The terror of a videogame made to look like a silent film

There’s no guessing as to where Letter To A Friend gets its look. The grey, flickering lights; the darkness heavy and consuming as miasma; everything out-of-focus, fuzzed and grainy as if seen through an old, dying lens. The creator needn’t say that its “visual references come from expressionistic silent movies and old analog recordings” for us to know that is the case. It’s a staggering recreation that speaks for itself. Or rather, it doesn’t speak at all, and that’s part of what makes it so creepy. Everything from the frail shutter speed to the exposed scratches, dust, and hair that makes…


Sculptor turns Azerbaijani rugs into sublime glitch art

If patterns are a language, as artist Faig Ahmed describes them, then his trippy redesigns of traditional Azerbaijani rugs are a dramatic rearticulation. One of his woven carpets stretches like a VHS error midway down and melts onto the floor in a pool of swirling colors. Another rug hangs half-pixelated, the intricate patterns visible on one side minimized into thick squares on the other. Several others feature an untouched, ornate border around a void of floating cubes, or spherical protrusions behind a sunken field, or a spiral cone bursting through the medallion; a modern brand of psychedelic framed by an ancient craft.…

Recent News

Issue 8: Virtual Reality

Check out the most recent issue of Kill Screen’s print magazine!

Virtual Reality wasn’t a new idea when Palmer Luckey emerged from his garage with the Oculus Rift. In our newest print issue, we chose to take the long view and look at where VR came from and where it’s going: from battery-powered Victorian era gloves, to the films of David Cronenberg, to the impending backlash from parents and lawmakers, and beyond.

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A creator of SOMA on the surprising merit of Until Dawn

Sometimes, a big budget game comes along that, despite an almost Duke Nukem Forever-esque level of development redos and challenges, finally reaches your videogame system only to impress rather than disappoint. It’s so rare that it almost feels like magic when it happens. But the question is: how come a game like Until Dawn—originally created for the PS3 and with the expressed intent of tricking you into believing Playstation Move wasn’t useless—transforms into a beautiful butterfly while games like Duke Nukem Forever turn into steaming piles of shit? It must be those fickle videogame gods at it again, arbitrarily deciding who goes to heaven and who is Duke Nukem Forever. Of course that isn’t…

A Series of Gunshots

A Series of Gunshots calls out senseless gun violence in games

In the narrowest of senses, Pippin Barr’s A Series of Gunshots is a shoot ‘em up. All you do is fire a gun. The game has no other mechanics or activities. It is, however, the farthest thing possible from a traditional shoot ‘em up. A Series of Gunshots is composed of a series of gunshots. Who’d have thought it? The game consists of a series of black and white scenes. No humans can be seen. Do they even exist in this world? Press a key—any key other than spacebar. A gun goes off. The shot is heard. A window in…


The story behind Downwell, one of this year’s most delightful surprises

Downwell might be a perfect game title. Not only is it short and pithy, but it serves as a perfect summation for what developer Ojiro Fumoto has created. It’s a game in which a young boy is continuously falling down a well, avoiding enemies and purchasing upgrades along the way. But it’s not a hopeless endeavor. Armed with Gunboots firing from his feet, the boy is able to defend himself during his descent. The result is the type of sweat-inducing adventure that threatens to do water damage to your smartphone or controller, a game whose red and white character models…

Drift Stage OST vinyl

Drift Stage’s soundtrack is being pressed onto a car-shaped vinyl

When Patrick McDermott of LA-based label Ghost Ramp first told me that two tracks from Drift Stage‘s soundtrack would be available on a car-shaped vinyl I didn’t fully grasp the idea. It’s to be a “shaped picture disc 7″ that’s the shape of one of the race cars from the game,” he said to me eagerly. Cool, I thought. That was it. I thought it was cool. But then I saw it and I realized the full implication of what he had originally told me. You can see the vinyl and its cover pictured above. Yes, we’re talking about a vinyl that’s…


Two grown men debate the merits of Justin Bieber and One Direction

In the battle of Bieber and One Direction, everyone wins. Clayton Purdom (CP): David, defend One Direction. David Rudin (DR): I’ll get to One Direction, I promise, but first I want to discuss Backstreet Boys and Take That, because no boy band really exists in a vacuum. We like to imagine them as such, much as we like to imagine that our parents never had sex apart from the time they conceived us. It’s nonsense, sure, but it’s nonsense as a rite of passage. Consequently, my case for One Direction begins with the boy bands of my youth. This was…


Stay a while and be a good gardener

Sign up to receive each week’s Playlist e-mail here! Also check out our full, interactive Playlist section. A Good Gardener (PC, Mac, Linux) IAN ENDSLEY AND CARTER LODWICK Unlike games like Harvest Moon, A Good Gardener is not your grandma’s gardening game. Well, actually now that I think about it, the story of A Good Gardener might be most recognizable to someone like your grandmother. Set during WWII, the game puts the player in the role of someone planting a “victory garden,” which is the term the US government used to encourage citizens to join the war effort by growing their own food. In A Good Gardener,…

Giapetta's Workshop

New Kickstarter uses crafting, jewelry, and games to get girls coding

A new Kickstarter entitled Giapetta’s Workshop wants to blend coding, crafting, and narrative into a single game that encourages 8-12 year old girls to be interested in STEM. The game begins in the real world, with a necklace and jewelry box that each girl can customize to fit her own style. The necklace then becomes her portal into an animated Adventure-Story app that turns learning how to code into a magical journey. The necklace serves as an input device which reveals hidden spells that, in turn, can only be unlocked by learning a basic coding program. Giapetta’s Workshop stars a…


Anamorphine and the rise of the first-person narrative game

Georges Méliès discovered filmmaking’s jump cut by accident. By cutting out some of the frames in a single, still camera shot and splicing the two separate parts, it seemed as if objects were teleporting through space when watched back in real-time. In his 1898 short The Temptation of St. Anthony, he uses the jump cut to have women magically appear around the titular character, attempting to seduce him from his faith, before disappearing just as suddenly. Méliès used the jump cut to become the great cinematic illusionist he’s now known as, producing what appeared to be magic through editing alone, and…

Uriel's Chasm 2

Why the creator of one of Steam’s most hated games made a sequel

“The sequel no one asked for,” begins one user review of Uriel’s Chasm 2: את on Steam. It’s a solid thumbs-down verdict and it sums up the general sentiment surrounding the sequel to one of Steam’s most hated games. Uriel’s Chasm has around 2,500 user reviews and not even a fifth of them are positive (that is, giving the game a thumbs-up). This leaves it with a rare “Overwhelmingly Negative” verdict. In the Steam forums for Uriel’s Chasm 2 one person asks its creator, straight up, “what in the world would possess you to create a part 2?” It’s a…

Cube game

This puzzle game doesn’t have a name yet, but its gifs speak for themselves

Like Lara Croft GO meets Monument Valley, this unnamed puzzle game seems to merge elements of impossible architecture with a bright, low-poly look inspired by board games. Levels are seemingly set on Rubik’s Cube-like environments, each cube adorned with mini castles, rocky cliffs, and flowing waterfalls that can be rotated to create a new path for the miniatures that are attempting to navigate the ever-changing surface. Based on its most recent gif, some levels even come with narrative exposition in the form of floating text that moves with the direction of the cube it’s attached to, delivering more story with…