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A new videogame about piecing together drunken memories

Is it a coincidence that autobiographical games are the ones that seem to experiment with new storytelling ideas the most? Look at the infinite scrolling world of life and death in Passage (2007), the collage of frustrations in Dys4ia (2012), the awkward online conversations of Cibele (2015), and the interweaving of emotionally-charged 3D spaces in That Dragon, Cancer (2016). We can now add to this list the latest game by Jenny Jiao Hsia, which recalls a night out drinking with friends, or at least the part where she had to look after one of them and get them to hospital. It’s called and i…

Night in the Woods
News

Night in the Woods comes out February 21st, for real this time (hopefully)

I don’t want to alarm you, but … okay, screw it, I do want to alarm you. BE ALARMED. February is gonna be a helluva month for videogames. I swear it. Just wait and see. What’s that? You don’t want to wait that long. Alright, alright, well, let me just lay this on you for starters then: Night in the Woods is coming out on February 21st 2017 for PlayStation 4, Windows, Mac, and Linux. That’s reason enough alone to grant, oh, I dunno, a knighthood to the month of February. Yeah, let’s go all out. What a good month you are,…

Sunless Sea
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Sunless Sea will wash up terror and cannibalism on your iPad this spring

It was Failbetter Games’s seventh birthday yesterday, and so, to mark the occasion, the London-based studio decided to make an announcement. You remember that terrific nautical adventure game Sunless Sea (2015)? The one in which you sailed across a vast, dangerous ocean, collecting a range of stories, scars, and probably losing your sanity? Well, it’s only been available on PC before, but it’ll also be coming to iPad this spring. Great news, then. That’ll mean iPad owners can travel across the dreaded Unterzee with a tap of their finger, and from whatever real-world location they might find themselves in—handheld terror wherever…

Empty
News

Get in the mood for a spring clean with a new zen puzzler

Sign up to receive each week’s Playlist e-mail here! Also check out our full, interactive Playlist section. Empty (Windows, Mac, Linux, Android) By DustyRoom It’s almost time for the big spring clean this year, which might mean you need something to get you in the appropriate head space. Empty could be that something. It’s a zen puzzler that has you clearing out all the objects inside a series of rooms that look like they were decorated by Mark Rothko. You achieve your goal by rotating your view around the room to match each object’s color to the blocks of color on the…


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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Tattletail
News

Virtual pets get the creepy game they deserve

Sign up to receive each week’s Playlist e-mail here! Also check out our full, interactive Playlist section. Tattletail (Windows, Mac) By Waygetter Electronics The ’90s had a lot of creepy toys. Remember the adverts boasting that a new doll would actually crap in its diaper? What about those gross snot monsters that were made to let kids shoot slime at people? There were also virtual pets and Furbys. Remember those? A new horror game called Tattletail does. In fact, it has you looking after one over the nights leading up to Christmas. You have to feed and groom it, even play hide-and-seek, all…

Forgotten
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In Forgotten, you’re the horror inside the computer

“It’s now safe to turn off your computer.” Anyone who owned a PC in the ’90s should be familiar with this strange statement. It only appeared once you’d instructed the computer to shut down. But now it also serves as the ending to Sophia Park‘s new Twine game, Forgotten. It’s a fitting closure given that you spend your time inside an old computer with a nearly exhausted hard drive. When you leave you have destroyed the last remnants of a virtual world and the inhabitants that had spent years dwelling within. That final statement suggests that, after your cleansing (or destructive) act,…

RiME
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RiME showcases the sights, sounds, and creatures of its Mediterranean fantasy

When RiME burst onto our radars with a minute-long trailer back in 2013, it showcased scenes that evoked games like Ico (2001) and The Wind Waker (2002). The camera swooped across a serene Mediterranean island with high walkways and cliff edges to traverse; there was an illusory door that opened into a mountain, where inside dark figures moved towards the protagonist’s campfire; it ended on a huge looming shape, dinosaur in size, moving through the veil of a morning mist. All of that is present in RiME‘s new trailer but it also moves in closer, finally giving us a proper show of the protagonist’s face, as…

Jenny LeClue
News

Yep, Jenny LeClue will still be your teen girl detective for 2017

Oh, look at that, it’s 2017. You want some new games to look out for this year? Well, my dear, let’s start by focusing our lens on the upcoming teen girl detective game Jenny LeClue. Its creator Joe Russ has re-confirmed to me that Jenny LeClue will be out for Steam later this year. It will also be coming to PlayStation 4 and mobile but only after the Steam version is out. Got that? Good. However, you don’t need to wait any longer to actually play the game. There’s a playable teaser of Jenny LeClue available on itch.io that is meant to…

OMORI
News

Surreal horror game OMORI won’t be a recluse forever

OMORI isn’t dead but it has been delayed again. The team behind the upcoming “surreal psychological horror RPGmaker game” has released a new trailer and explained why the game isn’t out yet. To make a long story short: the team admits it “underestimated the amount of time to create a video game.” The original estimate for the game’s release date when it was funded on Kickstarter was May 2015. That means that prediction is drawing close to being two years early. But there’s more to it than mere naivete. One of the major setbacks for the OMORI team has been…

High Scores 2016
Feature

High Scores: The Best Videogames of 2016 – 16 to 13

This is part of Kill Screen’s list of the best videogames of 2016. To see the rest of the list, check out all the other parts. /// 16. Abzû Abzû is an underwater opera about the precious cadence of ecosystems. Its ocean world feels like a fantasy as you swim downstream with dolphins and weave between the tropical leaves of aquatic plants. But for the most part it is not. The game only takes what beauty already exists (or once did) in the seas and attaches a full-blown orchestra to it. In a year when scientists have announced the human impact…

High Scores 2016
Feature

High Scores: The Best Videogames of 2016 – 20 to 17

This is part of Kill Screen’s list of the best videogames of 2016. To see the rest of the list, check out all the other parts. /// 20. Darkest Dungeon Darkest Dungeon will punish you. The “dungeon,” a dusty and generic RPG fixture, is twisted into a locus of psychological torment and trauma. Relentlessly grim voiceover and inky Mike Mignola-esque art drive home the game’s hammer-blunt central message: violence takes its toll. There is no happy ending, no glory as you sentence yet another band of recruits to the serpentine catacombs coiling beneath your ancestral estate. They return—if they return at…

Final Fantasy XV
Feature

Final Fantasy XV wants to be the next great road trip but can’t shut up

There are five central characters in Final Fantasy XV. The first four are young men with impeccable hairdos and absurd names: Noctis, Gladiolus, Ignis, and Prompto. The fifth is a sleek black convertible stately enough to be named the Regalia. Like every other Final Fantasy game, XV is about a long, dangerous journey across a fantastic landscape. Unlike the rest of the series, though, it doesn’t hang its story on the stuffy conventions of a Lord of the Rings-style cross-country wilderness hike, but through a road trip. The car, in Final Fantasy XV, is a central character. The Regalia is…

Kellee Santiago
News

New documentary focuses on the struggle of making independent games

Devolver Digital has published a new documentary on Steam called Surviving Indie. The idea of the documentary is to bring more attention to the struggle of being an independent game maker. In some ways, it feels like it might be a response to Indie Game: The Movie, which has been criticized by some since its release in 2012 for glorifying the vocation given that it mainly followed three successful game makers: Jonathan Blow, Edmund McMillen, and Phil Fish. What Surviving Indie sets out to do is to get game makers “with varying outcomes of success and failure” to talk about their struggles and…

Escape the Loop
News

Videogames are finally experimenting with the time loop of Groundhog Day

Before I had even watched Groundhog Day (1993), my childhood was fringed with the fantasy of alternate experiences of time due to a British children’s TV series called Bernard’s Watch (1995-2005). Bernard, the lucky bugger, had a stopwatch that could freeze time. Each episode he’d perform this miraculous feat, usually to enact some good deed, or at least get himself out of trouble. Thank god it was good boy Bernard that had the watch and not someone more perverse, eh? The image that sticks with me the most from that show is Bernard running across a grassy field as someone frozen…