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Nidhogg 2
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Nidhogg 2 is going to eat you alive

Remember Nidhogg (2014)? Before its release there was whispers of it as the 2D fencing game that people just couldn’t stop playing. After its long-awaited arrival it made its way to other platforms, until it seemed to become nearly ubiquitous—its pixels once only glanced at now brash and animated in everyone’s face. It was a cult hit, but a cult hit you could play on nearly anything, as long as you had two people. The opposing fencers were rendered in bright colors of orange and yellow, blood spurting neon in their signature shades as the battle raged on. Now, Nidhogg 2 is…

bothy
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Dear Esther: Landmark Edition is a delicate, embalmed object

Heterotopias is a series of visual investigations into virtual spaces performed by artist and writer Gareth Damian Martin. /// Videogames have always had something of a preference for islands. These closed spaces, limited by a shoreline, are the perfect conceit for creating an enclosed simulation—an isolated section of “reality” split off from the world. Despite this, thematically, games rarely have anything to say about their own predisposition towards landscapes of isolation, separation, and abandonment. For Dear Esther, these are central themes. It’s easy to imagine that Dan Pinchbeck’s choice of an island setting for the original 2008 Half-Life 2 mod, built…

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Growbot gets its adorable look from children’s books of the past

Children’s books used to have a more strange, haunting quality; think Wayne Anderson’s Ratsmagic (1976) and The Magic Circus (1978). Books had a sense of darkness, and not every tale was meant to be safe and moralizing. Growbot, an upcoming 2D point-and-click puzzle adventure, is a game that evokes the strangeness of Anderson‘s classics. Created by illustrator Lisa Evans, it’s a game that draws from classic children’s book through its art and narrative. “These kinds of narratives are rarer in the [children’s book] industry these days, because in order to get in front of an audience you need to go through the gatekeepers of the publishing…

Honey Rose
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Honey Rose is the most relatable schoolgirl luchador out there

I relate a lot to Honey Rose. Or, at least I did back when I was a scrappy university student. While Honey moonlights as a masked luchador fighter in addition to being a college student by day, I juggled school, a job to pay the bills, and a far more time-consuming job that paid zero bills (campus publication editor gigs will do that to you). Like Honey, not everything went right. Sometimes I did poorly on tests because a deadline was approaching for the magazine I was art director for. Other times I’d slack off in one of those two,…


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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Musikinésia
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Musikinésia, a game that teaches you music theory

Musikinésia is a game about mastering the telekinetic powers of a dusty piano by learning how to play a real one. Not long ago, Rock Band 3 (2010) had a plastic keyboard that let players get the hang of rhythms on the piano, and Synthesia (2013) got a little closer to actually being a pack of lessons by using the whole range of a MIDI keyboard as a controller. None of them, though, teach players about music theory as Musikinésia attempts to. “I think that, first of all, [these games] pique the person’s interest for music,” said Rogério Bordini, game…

Hitman: Colorado
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Hitman’s accent problem finally finds a solution (sorta)

Hitman, in most ways, has been going from strength to strength. The episodic murder simulator has seemingly found its form, with the space between each episode giving players plenty of time to experiment with its techniques and locations, finding increasingly outrageous kills and bizarre events. We’ve had “accidents” caused by launching a fire extinguisher at a Parisian balcony, setting up a totally improbable double kill with a trail of gunpowder in Sapienza, and in Bangkok the grim spectacle of smothering a man in his own birthday cake in front of his surprise party. I’ll understand if you don’t click that last…

insatia
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Oh look, Slither.io had a baby with your biology textbook

Smash-hit mitochondria simulator Agar.io (2015) and its recent knockoff Slither.io took certain corners of the internet by storm a while back. If you’re confused to why this is, here’s a hint: they’re super addictive. They’re easy to grasp, have a manageable skill curve, and ring that bell in your brain that says “One more try!” It’s a simple but foolproof formula—the same reason you kept coming back to Facebook games in 2011, and the same reason you haven’t deleted Stack from your phone even though you swear you’ll never touch that thing again. You can’t stop swiping. It sure resembles old entomology illustrations But…

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Five games to fall in love with in the Fantastic Arcade bundle

Five games from Fantastic Fest’s Fantastic Arcade are available as part of a fantastic bundle on itch.io: Nium, Alphabet, Inspector Woof, F2oggy, and Lassos. All proceeds from the Fantastic Arcade bundle will go to the next Fantastic Arcade, in efforts to bring more independent game makers to the show floor. If you’re in Austin, Texas, you can play these games—and others, like Everything, Islands, and Sacramento—at Fantastic Fest’s Fantastic Arcade, which opened Monday. It’s free and open to the public, too, but only running until Thursday, September 29. The games there are playable on beautiful custom arcade cabinets. Here’s a rundown of the games:…

Sundered
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Sundered’s eldritch horrors are terrifying and spectacular

Thunder Lotus’s debut title was one of giants and gods, bringing North mythology to hand-drawn life in Jotun (2015). It was a title about scale, your shieldmaiden Thora often small against the sprawling landscapes, colossal architecture, and raging behemoths. Each enemy felled felt like a titanic victory, a true David-versus-Goliath moment born from your own skills and tenacity. Now, the studio’s sophomore effort, Sundered, promises to transplants those incredible odds from the land of Yggdrasil and Jomugandr to a world of gothic horror and otherworldly evil. It’s due out in 2017 and, to mark the announcement, we have been bestowed a…

simulus
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An unfinished demo provides a surreal meditation on grief

Outside, the waves crash against the shore rhythmically. Inside, a broken robot suit lies sprawled on a bed, one arm yanked off and left dramatically on the floor. It’s accompanied by a keyboard that, upon further inspection, is literally made of gold. You can pick up the broken arm, or attempt to play the stubbornly immovable keyboard, but your cautious avatar doesn’t want to go near the robot. That’s understandable, as she just came to this beach, this cabin, to mourn. This is, more or less, the unfinished demo recently released by Arielle Grimes called Simulus, subtitled Cabin in the…

Karambola
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Help sad fruit people overcome loneliness in a new game

Have you ever bought a piece of food and for whatever reason left it out or forgot about it? After some time it begins to rot, dry out, or expire. Most of us would simply throw it away, but Agata Nawrot did something different: instead of tossing the spoiled food away, she was inspired to create Karambola—a strange and beautiful game about lonely fruit people. “I like strange concepts,” Nawrot told me. A village of emotional fruit people who are kidnapped by evil, magical birds certainly qualifies as a bit strange. The idea came from a single bulb of dry fennel that…

firewatch-2
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Firewatch is being turned into a movie. Yes, seriously

Well, here’s something. This year’s first-person mystery-adventure game Firewatch is being turned into a movie. For real. According to The Hollywood Reporter, independent production company Good Universe has teamed up with Campo Santo to develop content for both videogames and feature films. The film adaptation will be their first project together but it sounds like there will be more on the way. not exactly a prime candidate for adaptation This is a pretty big deal, and not just because we’re very into Firewatch, but because it’s Campo Santo’s first and so far only title. It’s quite a surprise, really, but Firewatch does star…

tiny metal
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Japan can’t stop depicting war as the cutest thing on the planet

What do the creators of games like I Am Setsuna, Phoenix Wright: Ace Attorney (2001), Demon’s Souls (2009), and SoulCalibur V (2012) have in common? They’re very familiar with Japanese videogame culture and what kinds of games thrive over there. They’ve got their names on some of the most esteemed games of the generation. They’re “grizzled.” And they’re all raring to make a strategy game! Tiny Metal, the culmination of their efforts under the studio name Area 34, is a turn-based game that’ll focus on intense tactical combat, backed up by a strong story. It wants to merge the grand tradition of military…

Meadow
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Meadow will let you and friends survive as a pack of animals

Might and Delight, the creator of the Shelter games, has announced its next project, and yes, it too has cute animal families trying to survive the wilderness. Called Meadow, it’s meant to improve upon some of the ideas explored in the two previous Shelter games, as well as add online multiplayer. It’s due out for PC on October 26th. Shelter 2 (2015) put you in the paws of a powerful lynx mother, letting you explore an open landscapes during various weather conditions. You had to find food, give birth to adorable cubs, raise them, and protect them from vicious predators. Might and Delight wanted…