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THE LONG DARK (PC, MAC)
BY HINTERLAND STUDIO
Most survivor games these days pin you against hordes of mindless zombies, or group you with randoms online and tell you to duke it out. The Long Dark pairs you with a creature far more relentless than a wave of staggering zombies—snow. Trapped alone in an apocalyptic winter storm, you must think quickly to find food and shelter before you’re frost bitten, lying in an icy snow bed and surrounded by wolves. That it’s painted in such confident hues only makes its brutality more stark.
Perfect for: Midwesterners, Canadians, and anyone who understands the dangers of snow.
Playtime: Until you die. Like life!
FOTONICA (IOS, PC, MAC, LINUX)
BY SANTA RAGIONE
Fotonica has all the rush of running down a hill at breakneck speeds with the “whoa” factor of psychotropics. You can gun it across seven levels of wireframe space, gaining the momentum to leap from monochromatic platform to platform. You can even share your endless-runner acid trip with a friend through the split screen function. And now that Fotonica is on iOS, it’s never been easier to drop into the electronic soundscape.
Perfect for: Geometrists, sprinters, daredevils
Playtime: About four hours.
BY KOJIMA PRODUCTIONS
P.T. may be short for “Playable Teaser,” but don’t let that bait you into thinking of it as a marketing ploy. It’s one of the most interesting horror experiences—cinematic, videogame, or otherwise—in years. There’s nothing to fight here, just a hallway to wander through again and again, each time with slightly tweaked, or, sometimes, identical. It’s a master-class in pacing and lighting, and an architectural nightmare. Corridors have never looked so good, nor been so stressful.
Perfect for: Horror fans, marketing majors, guilt-ridden murderers
Playtime: About an hour, give or take a few nightmares.