Tron
Feature

Tron and its lasting vision of cyberspace

This is a preview of an article you can read on our new website dedicated to virtual reality, Versions. /// Here’s a fair question: How can a bomb from 1982 continue to impact the way we imagine cyberspace? It’s always grids and neon—synths and geometric shapes. When Homer Simpson found himself in this virtual dimension, surrounded by cones, equations, and clip art, he asked if anyone had ever seen the movie Tron. One by one, the residents of Springfield said “No.” Released the same year Disney opened up their futurist edutainment EPCOT park, Tron impressed critics but failed to speak to…

persona 5 road screenshot
Feature

The creator of Persona on life, Japanese culture, and the unconscious

This article is part of a collaboration with iQ by Intel. In the crowded world of Japanese role-playing games (JRPGs), the critically acclaimed Persona series has stood out for a decade and counting. Defying conventions established by other popular franchises like Final Fantasy, the series forgoes the usual swords and sorcery for something closer to home. Using subtle surrealism instead, Persona layers its more fantastical elements with social commentary. Players venture into a strange, shadowy world hidden behind their television screens, where enemies are a unique blend of the psychological and supernatural. “The Persona series addresses problems that people hold deep in their hearts,” said Katsura Hashino, the…

Stephens Sausage Roll
Review

Stephen’s Sausage Roll and the blue collar heroes of puzzledom

I’m a clunky Fisher Price toy on an island made of rough patches. My body, hands, and clothes are probably toxic, blistered and greasy, as I have spent hours pushing and shoving big honkin’ sausages across pipin’ hot grills in taxing and inconvenient ways. I’m not wearing an apron. I am wielding a big fork; a mighty claw that swings in heaves. When raw, these sausages are wormy and pink. Halfway done they look like stogies. Upon being cooked you can smell the continental breakfast through the screen.They are easily the biggest sausages you’ve ever seen in a puzzle game.…

Patience
News

Weekend Reading: You Can Take The Hippies Out of Hippie Town, But…

While we at Kill Screen love to bring you our own crop of game critique and perspective, there are many articles on games, technology, and art around the web that are worth reading and sharing. So that is why this weekly reading list exists, bringing light to some of the articles that have captured our attention, and should also capture yours. /// With ‘Patience’, Daniel Clowes’ Looks for Answers to the Big Questions, Sean T. Collins, Observer Does time travel sound like a blast? Hold that thought. Sean T. Collins speaks with cartoonist Daniel Clowes about his new book Patience,…

megaman3
Feature

Mega Man, in love and death

I get why Mega Man fans are insatiable. Even after 10 games to the main series’ and at least double that if you include spin-offs and variations, it wasn’t enough for me as a child. I remember browsing the game rack at Bonanza Video and being unable to taper the thirst for more of the series’ Robot Masters. It didn’t matter if I could actually beat any of the Robot Masters, those meat shields made of metal for the nefarious Dr. Wily. I’d have my ass handed to me by every Frog, Skull, and Air Man. I just wanted to…

Sword Quest
News

Weekend Reading: Crosswords and Crossed Swords

While we at Kill Screen love to bring you our own crop of game critique and perspective, there are many articles on games, technology, and art around the web that are worth reading and sharing. So that is why this weekly reading list exists, bringing light to some of the articles that have captured our attention, and should also capture yours. /// A Plagiarism Scandal Is Unfolding In The Crossword World, Oliver Roeder, FiveThirtyEight  A media fiasco is brewing in one of the unlikeliest sections of the paper. Not a Shattered Glass 2 or mere falsifying of information, but plagiarism.…

Stardew Valley screenshot 2
Review

Stardew Valley brings in a full harvest

There is no point in kicking sticks around over Stardew Valley’s similarities to the Harvest Moon series, Natsume’s long-running farmlife simulator. Not to be confused with the also really good Neil Young album, “Harvest Moon”, which Stardew Valley does not riff upon outside of the honkey tonk atmosphere in the single’s bar waltz music video. And that is probably a coincidence. Stardew Valley is an homage, a send up, and there is little mistake to make about that. It likes Harvest Moon a lot, and those who like Harvest Moon will probably like it in return. It likes the graces of…

Unravel
Review

Unravel wants to help us mourn, but doesn’t know how

Unravel begins with a letter from its creators that thanks you for purchasing the game. It explains to you the power of the medium, the senses of love and loneliness about to be explored, and how long they as a team have been pouring their hearts into it. The font and spacing makes it resemble the prelude to Thriller (1983), where Michael Jackson promises that he does not worship the devil. A game that signals its own history and globe of emotions as active parts, Unravel began for audiences last year when Coldwood Interactive’s creative director Martin Sahlin was called to the…

starwarpedheader
Article

A few things I learned from the late-90s game about nerds, Star Warped

A word of warning. This is an article about Star Warped, a comedic CD-Rom and a comet made of raw 1997 that swung by this planet without many noticing. Parts of this summation are painfully, extraordinarily, and sickeningly 1997, so if you’re concerned about hearing a dial-up tone in your head similar to the whir of tinnitus—be warned. I first saw it on Splat!, a magazine-style program for the then-new animation specialty channel Teletoon. The segment was about cartoons in videogames, a cross section that couldn’t have possibly been more eclipsing for a kid who gave himself nightmares retrying Brain…