Kill Screen Versions The Meta
Previous Next
The Playlist What to play now
Hidden Folks

Get lost (and found) in the playful world of Hidden Folks

When game designer Adriaan de Jongh (of Bounden fame) stumbled upon Sylvain Tegroeg’s work, he was mesmerized. Tegroeg’s black-and-white illustrations showed a tiny world brimming with folks going about their lives. Every nook and cranny told a story. “I was staring at them for 10 minutes,” recalled de Jongh. “They already had this feeling that there’s this big world … with lots of things happening.” Jokingly, de Jongh suggested they should make a game around it. Inspired, he cobbled together art “stolen” from Tegroeg’s website, creating a “really bad” interactive prototype where you can zoom in and out as well…

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…

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.

Previous Next

Videogame voice actors have had enough

After an extended series of negotiations that began in February 2015, the leading labor union representing voice talent in the United States has yet to create an equitable contract with some of videogames’ largest publishers and developers. Now, the Screen Actors Guild – American Federation of Television and Radio Artists (SAG-AFTRA) has drawn a line in the sand. In a statement released Monday morning, SAG-AFTRA announced a strike date for all union performers, targeting 11 videogame employers—including big hitters Activision, EA, Take 2, and WB Games. The threat of strike is intended as a bargaining chip, as representatives of the…


A short documentary about the future of women in videogames

When Laila Shabir moved to Cambridge, Massachusetts to start school at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, her Pakistani father told her to live her life as if she were a young man—to live her life without fear, something young women around the globe aren’t always taught. Shabir is the founder of Girls Make Games, a series of international summer camps put on by educational company LearnDistrict aimed at teaching girls the skills needed to make videogames. Camps were first introduced in the United States and later went global. Shabir discussed the organization in Girls Level Up, a recent short documentary made as…

beard blade ft image

Beard Blade might be the manliest videogame of them all

Inspired by SNES, Genesis, and GBA classics, Beard Blade is an eccentric 2D platformer that follows the adventures of a farmer as he struggles to rid his town of troublesome imps. After an encounter with a magically-skilled barber, the farmer takes on the pseudonym Beard Blade, and his beard becomes not just a physical manifestation of his masculinity, but also his greatest weapon in battle. The Kickstarter trailer for Beard Blade begins with an animation of the pirate-like imps attacking the farmer’s village with cannonballs, but he saves the day by catching a projectile with his beard and using it to…


The people trying to save programming from itself

“Most things in the world are broken,” noted RAD Game Tools owner Jeff Roberts in a 2013 vodcast with programmer Casey Muratori. Roberts was talking about the busted, often unusable state of technology in our every day lives. You’ve probably seen examples of this when you’ve simply tried to install a game: “driver not found”; “reboot now or install later?”; “an error occurred.” These are the result of poor decisions made decades ago, Roberts explains: “We’re in the mess that we are in now because of software engineering preferences from 30 years ago, made by people that just didn’t write enough code to have those preferences…


Start editing your away messages: Emily Is Away is getting a sequel

Emily Is Away was released just over a year ago, and since then, Emily has amassed a lot of friends—like, 1.5 million of them. Many of which will be excited to hear that early next year Emily Is Away Too, a sequel of sorts, will be released. Perhaps “spiritual successor” is a better word; Emily from the first game isn’t being carried over for the second game. Emily Is Away Too will have new characters—and a new Emily. Someone named Evelyn, too. Oops, wrong IM “The sequel behaves much more like a chat application,” creator Kyle Seeley said. “It features embedded links to websites,…


The 1990s, the decade that never ended

In 2013, the New Museum in New York presented an exhibition titled NYC 1993: Experimental Jet Set, Trash and No Star (named after an album by Sonic Youth). It curated art from the year of Bill Clinton’s inauguration. Soon after, New Jersey’s Montclair Art Museum featured Come As You Are: Art of the 1990s (named after a song by Nirvana). Jason Farago, writing about these shows for the BBC, posited that “this wave of 1990s shows marks a welcome effort to impose historical rigour on a period we still sometimes call ‘contemporary,’” but, “they reveal that the gap between then…


Knotting into Dishonored’s decaying city

Heterotopias is a series of visual investigations into virtual spaces performed by artist and writer Gareth Damian Martin. /// There is no such thing as a total vision of a city. Statistics, guidebooks, politicians, newspapers, tourists, maps, and surveys like to suggest otherwise, but theirs is a constricted world, an incomplete image. Those of us who live in cities know very well of their tendency to conceal and reveal themselves with unexpected rhythms, as if at random—surprising us with new configurations and revelations, shifting prism-like with the passing of time or the changing of the light. Perhaps that’s why the most…


Code Romantic, a visual novel about love and programming

If you like the sound of a visual novel with both computer science puzzle and romance elements then Code Romantic is for you. So far, creator Pretty Smart Games has released two of the game’s chapters, with more to come a little further down the line. Unlike Zachtronics-style programming games—where players learn fictional systems—Code Romantic is teaching players using C#, a coding language folks use a whole bunch. A game like Zachtronics’s Shenzhen I/O teaches more logic-based theories, while Code Romantic is starting more traditionally with the basics of code semantics. No prior programming experience is necessary, as the game starts off with very simple commands—stuff you’d learn in an intro…

Red Dead Redemption

From the magazine: Red Dead Redemption, Reviewed

This article first appeared in Kill Screen’s relaunched magazine, Issue 9, which you can buy right now!  Header illustration by Christopher Black /// In 2003, HBO released And Starring Pancho Villa as Himself, a lavish TV movie about a Mexican revolutionary who makes a deal with Hollywood to film, and star in, his own battle. Antonio Banderas plays Pancho Villa full of preening swagger, yet a strange kind of naivete—the naivete of someone already trying on the gilded robes of myth, already saving a parking spot on Olympus, boasting like Beowulf before the fact. The battle does not go as he…


New frantic game is basically Devil Daggers in space

There are particular games that can only exist within the confines of the technological limitations of the time they were created. Missile Command (1980) feels anxious in its simplicity: the silence of surrounding the explosions of the missiles reminds you that, eventually, no matter how hard you try, all the cities you are attempting to save will be destroyed. On the other hand, the 2007 Xbox 360 remake of Missile Command added techno music and other small tweaks that, together, deeply obscure the Cold War-era fear of the original. the anxiety heightened by its use of Game Boy graphics An entry into…