Inside wants to devour you

Everyone who has ever played Éric Chahi’s Another World (1991) remembers the “Beast.” Emerging from a pool of water, you see a four-legged silhouette perched menacingly on a nearby ledge. The creature then exits to the right. On the next screen it appears momentarily in the background, but you’re distracted by the poisonous worms crawling towards you. By the third screen you may have forgotten about it altogether until crossing an invisible threshold triggers it to appear. It snarls. You run. It chases you. But you didn’t run soon enough, and it catches you, kills you, and sends you back…

Drift Stage

7 Independent Games Best Played on Big Screens

This article is part of a collaboration with iQ by Intel. Advances in technology lead to bigger, shinier games each year, but outside the mainstream flows a river of creative and entertaining independent games that play well across a variety of devices and screen sizes. Many small studios use innovative design techniques to create incredible adventures that rival games from bigger studios. They commonly deliver gorgeous pixel and 2D art without requiring a high-end computer processor and graphic chips. That means these games work across different devices, including hardware like the Intel Compute Stick, a tiny PC that plugs into TVs…


Why the future of esports is mobile

This article is part of a collaboration with iQ by Intel. Popular new mobile titles like Vainglory (2014) and Clash Royale show the promise of competitive esports on the go. While esports competitions continue to emphasize PC games like League of Legends (2009), new titles available on mobile devices are shaking things up for players and fans. According to a report released last year by the NPD Group, younger kids are playing games on their phones more than any other device. Game studios have taken note, creating mobile games that appeal to core and casual players alike. “Somebody’s going to create…


The search for a game to unite all esports fans

This article is part of a collaboration with iQ by Intel. The genre-bending competitive games releasing in the next year have the potential to bring the usually divided fan bases of esports together. Many see esports as the next $1 billion sport, but getting there depends on a savvy intertwining of new titles and their diverse fan bases. If new gaming titles such as Blizzard’s Overwatch, Gearbox’s Battleborn and Epic Games’ Paragon are going to succeed as esports, industry insiders believe these titles have to evolve beyond popularity. “There is sort of a secret sauce when it comes to esports,” said Marcus Graham, Twitch’s director of Programming.…


The team behind Transistor makes purgatory look beautiful in their next game

Nearly two years after the release of Transistor (2014), Supergiant Games has announced its third project: Pyre. Slated to release sometime in 2017, the reveal trailer for the upcoming game shows off the combination of richly drawn animation and intimate musical scoring the studio has become known for. According to Supergiant’s blog, Pyre follows the journey of a band of exiles as they explore a “vast, mystical purgatory” in an attempt to uncover its secrets and eventually find their freedom. While the trailer shows a combination of lush environments and encounters with enemies, the game will reportedly also feature a decision-making process…


Salt and Sanctuary has soul

Salt is an essential part of our biology. It helps regulate fluid balance between cells. Our entire system of nerves and muscles is designed around the special electrochemical properties of salt. Too much salt and we die. Too little salt and we die. It’s the perfect metaphor for the kind of complex equilibrium Salt and Sanctuary likes to brutally enforce. Get too aggressive and you die. Give into cautious hesitation and you die. Learn to navigate the invisible rhythms in-between these two extremes, though, and something beautiful happens. It’s a construct familiar to anyone who’s subjected themselves to the punishing…


See how far Hyper Light Drifter has come before its arrival next week

Mad Max: Fury Road (2015) wasn’t a tough sell. It had audiences entranced from its first trailer. A desert slashed with muted yellows and clay reds set against a crisp aquamarine sky spoke for itself. The dies irae of Giuseppe Verdi’s “Requiem” was only there to make sure you never forgot. The first trailer for Hyper Light Drifter was different in almost every way, but the effect was the same. Alex Preston introduced his stylish action-RPG not with an apocalyptic bang but with the rhythmic chiptune meditations of a specialty Baths track. Grounded in Will Wiesenfeld’s introspective beat, Hyper Light Drifter wrapped its precious pixel art…

Loving Vincent

Animated Van Gogh film is made entirely with paintings

Vincent van Gogh occupies a special place in the Western psyche. His legacy mythologized the idea of the tragic artist who nevertheless makes beautiful art. The Starry Night (1889) is so iconic the painting was used to symbolize Cory and Topanga’s fraught relationship at the height of Boy Meets World’s popularity. It’s not surprising, then, that Van Gogh’s life is the subject of a new animated biopic called Loving Vincent. When Variety reviewed 1956’s Lust for Life, based on a novel by Irving Stone and starring Kurt Douglass as van Gogh, it called the film “a slow-moving picture whose only action is…


Solstice leaves its best mysteries unsolved

In the eighth episode of The X-Files, agents Fox Mulder and Dana Scully are dispatched to investigate radio silence at a science outpost in Icy Cape, Alaska. There they discover a parasite—because it’s always a parasite—that makes its host hyper-violent. Suspicion and fear threaten to tear the team apart as they search for answers. In the knick of time because it’s always in the knick of time—reason and rationality prevail, temporarily giving order to the chaos and showing our protagonists a way forward in their eternal search for the truth. Solstice similarly follows the first-person accounts of Galen, a doctor,…