The RollerCoaster Tycoon ride that takes 3,000 in-game years to complete

For all its lighthearted charm, RollerCoaster Tycoon has been oddly capable of indulging the morbid propensities of its players over the years. There’s not a player out there who isn’t guilty of picking up their tiny little park guests and dropping them in the Swan Boat lake, or trying to design a deliberately broken ride that would end up crashing in a storm of fire and metal at least once. Perhaps it was the fact that this otherwise cute sim game could let you do these destructive things in the first place that made players experiment so. There’s another means of torture that some particularly creative…

We Are Chicago

We Are Chicago aims to dispel media myths about poor, black families

When thinking about the black neighborhoods in Chicago‘s south and west side most people will probably see death statistics. This is what the media thrusts into the public’s face time and again. It’s hardly an isolated incident; while purported to be based in fact, these statistics are trumpeted around for their racially charged implications. Bring it up again and again and those who are distant and unfamiliar with these neighborhoods can only associate them with gangland murders. What else do they have to go on? Being poor and black becomes enough for everyone else to fear you. And it seems to…

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Secret Hitler is mercifully not a joke

“Are you Hitler?” Note, dear reader, the use of quotation marks. Even though this is the internet, where people go to say such things, I do not believe that you are actually Hitler. Rather, that is an actual question that comes up with reasonable frequency in Max Temkin’s (co-creator of Cards Against Humanity) new tabletop game Secret Hitler. This is not the setup for a joke. Seriously. Secret Hitler takes placed in a simplified—though not stable—version of early 1930s Weimar Germany. The balance between liberals and fascists is delicate and consequently the future of Germany hangs in the balance. Players…

hello miles

Immortalize your newborn child by rendering them as a creepy 3D model

One of the various things the digital age has changed forever is how parents show off their kids. Before, the most harm a baby picture could do was embarrass you in front of a date you brought home to meet your parents. But according to the WNYC podcast Note to Self, “the Pew Research Center found that 92 percent of children in the U.S. have a digital presence by the time they turn two.” With the simultaneous immediacy and longevity of a social media footprint, the impulse to show off your cute kid could now have unforeseen consequences. As The Guardian‘s Linda Geddes asks, “is it safe, or even ethical…


SUPERHYPERCUBE finds common ground between Tetris and Blade Runner

VR had me skeptical, but then again, I’m pretty much always skeptical of new gaming technology. Similarly, when Microsoft’s Kinect rolled around, so too did my eyeballs, right into the back of my skull. I can lazily holler at my Xbox to turn on? Big deal. With VR, I could scan my entire surroundings and yet stay encompassed in another dimension? So what. My perception of VR was comparable to what the editors at Time thought when putting the creator of the Oculus Rift on their cover in that goofy pose: that VR was probably silly. Then I played a…


Radio the Universe is still far away, but here’s some new art

Remember Radio the Universe? It started popping up around the web in 2012, ran a successful Kickstarter at the end of that year, and has been surfacing here and there for the last three years with bits of art and minor updates. It was among the first wave of smaller games that seemed invested in taking pixel art in a new direction—still rooted in the isometric simplicity of retro-style games, but with a ton of detail and fluidity in the environment and character movement. Think Hyper Light Drifter. For Radio the Universe in particular, it was the elegant pixel art,…


Kentucky Route Zero: Act IV is almost upon us

It’s been a slow ride since Cardboard Computer’s moody tale of dark roads and mysterious strangers first debuted in early 2013, but we’re getting steadily closer to the end. Kentucky Route Zero: Act IV is nearing completion and while it has no exact release date yet, its developers have stated on Twitter that they are “excited to share it soon,” offering up a new piece of artwork in the interim. While only one piece of the larger, dreamy puzzle that is Kentucky Route Zero, its third act prevailed as our game of the year in 2014 for its quiet beauty…

Forest of Sleep

Turning Narrative Into A Play Space With Forest Of Sleep

Proteus creator Ed Key and artist Nicolai Troshinsky of Twisted Tree Games have only talked abstractly about their upcoming experimental narrative game Forest of Sleep before. But now, a few months after its initial announcement, the pair have cut into the specifics of what they mean when citing “emergent associations” and “cinematic language.” Speaking to Gamasutra, Key revealed the process behind his effort to use procedural generation to create stories that had both drama and pacing, using only hand-made art pieces and wordless animated scenes. Crucial to this aim is the choice of influence found in late-20th century Eastern European illustration…


The Tower Inverted still looks longingly to the sky

The Tower Inverted is a game in the same way that a leisurely stroll through the park can be a game: Who knows what you’ll find? Granted, the things you’ll find in The Tower Inverted aren’t a total surprise. To wit, here’s a far from comprehensive list: conical trees, low-slung huts, glowing globes, fractured earth, and towers. So many towers. Those towers are the real attraction in The Tower Inverted. The game’s ostensible goal is to find the path to the next level, but that is hardly a challenge. “Generally,” its documentation notes, “the exit for each level can be…