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News

Acclaimed electronic musician Moiré releases glitchy hellscape alongside album

The most experimental and daring (read: LIT) indie music artists have been flirting with videogames for a while now. Grimes headlined Moogfest with a Microsoft Kinect-powered interactive installation last year; the bassist from the noise-rock band Lighting Bolt, Brian Gibson, recently created the VR-favorite rhythm hell game Thumper; and Björk literally cannot even right now with how much she loves VR. Today, architect/electronic musician Moiré joined the digital revolution, forgoing the usual music video to instead release a browser glitch art game in conjunction with his newest album, No Future. Created with interactive experience designer Isaac Cohen (AKA Cabbibo), MONOLITH consists of large, glitchy, empty spaces populated by a smattering of human avatars,…

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News

Creator from Alto’s Adventure releases trailer for new coming-of-age adventure

When you’re young, everything can feel like the end of the world. Your crush doesn’t like you back, or you didn’t get selected for the varsity soccer team, or mom embarrassed you in front of everyone at Career Day. The universe seems to collapse under you, the tenuous building blocks that made up your life snapping under their own weight. That’s the basic concept behind Where Cards Fall, a narrative-driven puzzle game by the makers of Alto’s Adventure and and an ex Giant Sparrow designer. The newest trailer sets the release for this fall on iPhone, iPad, Apple TV, Mac, and PC. As a coming of age story, it explores…

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News

Hidden Folks, released today, offers a delightfully handmade iOS experience

Hidden Folks, which Kill Screen‘s Kathryn Madden originally covered last year, can best be described as an interactive Where’s Waldo? overflowing with personality. With little to no focus on goals, points, or challenge, players simply explore intricate landscapes in search of specific “targets” (or “folks”)  hidden throughout each scene. So much of the digital toy’s charm derives from its handmade feel, with illustrator Sylvain Tegroeg’s heavily inked art style creating lively scenes that feel populated without seeming overly busy. Indeed, the unusual joy of Hidden Folks is just how human and authored it feels, especially when most games (particularly in the free-to-play saturated app marketplace) tend to come…

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News

Study finds female players may not be into guns, but are still into killing

The Quantic Lab, a survey data-based social science research project investigating the psychology of gaming, recently published interesting findings on players and their motivations. A portion of their research explores difference across gender, diving deeper into stereotypical assumptions about female players. For example, some might point to Quantic Lab’s finding that, out of all the genres, women are least likely to play tactical shooters as proof that female player don’t like violent games. But another recent survey found that, upon further investigation, it’s safer to assume that women just find guns kinda boring and prefer to murder virtual people through other methods. According to the Lab’s blog, by…

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News

Celebrate what diversity does for games at the Game Devs of Color Expo

For the second year in a row, New York-based indie studio Brooklyn Gamery is organizing a day-long Game Devs of Color Expo at the Schomburg Center on June 24th. The intimate expo, which welcomes creators of all races, genders, and sexual orientations, will include panels, talks, educational workshops, and an arcade. A celebration of game creators from various races could not come at a more welcome time, as America appears to continue its hard reverse into the pre-civil rights era. Bombarded by story after story on the collapse of our republic into a dystopia uninhabitable to any except the lizard people running the oval office (alternative fact: Steve Bannon is a gutter cigarette in human form), it…

ladykiller in a bind
Review

Ladykiller in a Bind dares to ask “what are you into?”

You lie on your bed, idly, unsure of what is keeping you up. It’s something that wants to stay hidden, just out of sight of your mind’s eye, a shadow ducking out of your periphery—the flash of a sly smirk as it flits around your room. While the thing on your mind dodges investigation, your hands nervously fiddle with your skirt, anxious to make your brain comply with what you want it to do. Your gaze wanders from your legs to your laptop a few inches away. You had just been on it, in a virtual world, only 20 minutes…

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News

Nina Freeman’s next game is based on her mom’s 1960s childhood

Game designer Nina Freeman first rose to prominence with How Do You Do It (2014), a game exploring precocious sexuality based on her own experiences as a child. The following year, her senior thesis project at NYU-Poly was commercially released as Cibele, a game about online gaming, sex, and falling in love on the internet. Interested in themes of sexuality and self-reflection, Freeman currently works as a designer at Fullbright. Freeman’s latest project, Kimmy—made in collaboration with Laura Knetzger and Aaron Freedman—shifts the focus to childhood. Based on her mother’s experiences as a babysitter in the 1960s, Kimmy will explore what it was to be a child before the…

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Review

Wheels of Aurelia sputters onto the race track

Elevator pitches have the benefit of being ideas rather than actual things in the real world. With the right pitch just about anything can sound promising. Take communism, for instance—a system that, on paper, reads like an egalitarian haven, promising equality, fairness, and a stable life for everyone. It often doesn’t play out so well when put into practice, but the idea captivates so much that it lead to countless wars, dictatorships, and deaths. Wheels of Aurelia, set in a 1970s Italy reeling from feminism, communism, revolution, and terrorism, sounds better as an idea than it plays. You are Lella,…

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News

The new Blair Witch deserves to be left in a corner to die

The Blair Witch is back, and—this time—she’s coming for your drones. That pretty much sums up the new Blair Witch sequel from series-fresh director Adam Wingard and writer Simon Barrett. It wears the skin of the witch we know and love from the seminal 1999 found-footage film, from creepy twine stick figures to stone cairns. But set in 2014, and targeted at a 2016 millennial audience, it features YouTube videos rather than VHS tapes, high-waisted pants rather than grunge sweaters, and GoPros rather than grainy night vision. I wanted—no, I tried—to like Blair Witch. To me, the backlash over the original’s morally…