Merger 3D
News

Merger 3D combines the best and worst of 90s shareware

Nostalgia for the 1990s seems to have become the stock in trade for videogames over the past few years. I’m thinking of the tongue-in-cheek revisit to MS-DOS’s glory days of Vlambeer’s GUN GODZ (2012) and the brutal, tasteful modern reconfiguration of the 90s shooter in this year’s Devil Daggers. But these are exceptions, as drawing from that well is typically an exercise in diminishing returns. A new shooter, Merger 3D, is testament to this, as it showcases the best and worst of the 90s shareware aesthetic. The title weighs in at a svelte 10 MB, and supposedly will run on every Windows OS…

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Review

Moon Hunters is about legends, but isn’t quite legendary

Our ancestors courageously spoke their minds, fought against tyranny, ended wars, and along the way also probably made a lot of really stupid mistakes. Just because we don’t care as much about our time-honored heroes’ failures doesn’t mean they didn’t happen, it just proves that history has a way of selective forgetfulness. The truth? Our legends aren’t always necessarily as legendary as we’d have liked them to have been. Johnny Appleseed’s countless apple trees bore mostly inedible fruit, designed to produce lucrative cider, rather than out of an altruistic goal to feed the masses. Paul Revere may have ridden to…

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Review

Everyone should be squirming to play Push Me Pull You

Sweating, writhing, fleshy worms are locked in combat with each other. Their two heads and four arms struggle to maintain dominance over one another. It’s a vicious and gross game of sport. And yet it is somehow completely, utterly adorable. Push Me Pull You lands somewhere between sumo wrestling, a soccer match, and the body-horror nightmare of The Human Centipede (2010). It has two teams of two players competing to gain control of the ball on a playfield, each pair working together to wriggle their conjoined bodies cooperatively to score points. The maneuvers available to each player at either end…

devildaggers3
Review

Devil Daggers is one hell of a time

To play Devil Daggers is to die again and again. Anguish is constant. It’s never clear what the player has done to be locked in this eternal struggle. Every playthrough opens with a darkened room except for a single source of light, a floating blade. Touching it is apparently a damning offense, and that’s when the horrors begin. Rounds can last mere seconds, missteps compounding upon each other until you’ve found yourself knee-deep in the undead, where inscrutable tentacled horrors are eager to feast on the living. Swarms of chattering skulls are belched out of tentacled turret-like floating pillars. Skull-backed…

deadly tower of monsters
Review

The Deadly Tower of Monsters revels in the schlock of B-movies

Bad movies can be a laugh to watch. It’s best done with a certain camaraderie, a group of buddies getting together to voluntarily partake in schlock, probably with alcohol and snacks to push them through it.Hell, Mystery Science Theater 3000’s (1988-99) Joel Hodgson has made an entire career out of that idea alone. But stripped of the jokes, there’s only so many rubber-masked martians and tin foil spaceships held aloft by fishing wire that your average viewer can tolerate. Let’s be real: no one is earnestly watching 1950s camp like This Island Earth (1955) for its cinematic merits. The cornball…

Star_Wars_Yoda_Stories_(PC)_001
Article

Replaying Yoda Stories, the most 1997 Star Wars game imaginable

Yoda Stories wasn’t much more than a lightweight diversion for preteens with a propensity to hog time on the family desktop. With an overhead view, players guided a cartoonishly large-headed Luke Skywalker, ordered by Yoda to visit various planets to save his friends, collect piles of robot junk, and swing a lightsaber around. The game was an installment in LucasArts’ stalled “Desktop Adventure” series—low-key, cutesy titles that require about as much investment as your average game of Minesweeper or Solitaire. It spit out randomly created maps of various Star Wars-esque locales. (Desert planet? Frozen planet? Forest planet? Check, check, check).…