Thoth isn’t here to make friends

Thoth works on certain illusions. A static screenshot would make you think this twin-stick shooter is more in line with Jeppe Carlsen’s previous game—the rhythm-based, minimalist platformer 140 (2013)—or that your dot in Thoth is kettled in against mean squares that look like descendants to Geometry War’s (2003) shapes. Thoth may only have a few matted colors at a time, but it is very loud; a mouse that roars. it invokes stages of fear Those squares, and many other bad shapes, are 3D in a 2D world. The way they float appears more like a gelatin warble, or a figure…

The Last Guardian

The Last Guardian’s development cycle now overlaps the Obama administration

Three yards from the finish line, The Last Guardian has been delayed again. Put down your torch—it’s still within grasp. Just a bump from the end of October to the beginning of December, an amount of time that seems so puny at this point it barely feels worth getting upset about. It just means that The Last Guardian won’t be available before Halloween, before Thanksgiving, or before the US presidential election. Oddly enough, President Barack Obama was sworn in the same year that The Last Guardian was announced, mere months before. Of course, the game was being worked on before…

Pokemon Go Apple Watch

Apple and Nintendo sitting in a tree …

While the iPhone 7 was the star birthday boy of Apple’s keynote yesterday, there was a shocking amount of news from a once-rival company, Nintendo. To the amazement of everyone tuning in, there was apparently a Snorlax on stage, as seen during the demonstration of Pokemon Go on the Apple Watch. Those presenters were miraculously spared a trampled death. Also worth mentioning is that videogame godfather Shigeru Miyamoto made a surprise appearance for a few hot minutes, consummating the romance that has been blossoming between his company and the omnipotent tech giant over the year. “For the past 30 years, every…

Obduction screenshot of house

Obduction is not to be missed

Obduction, despite how cosmic the word sounds, does not refer to flying saucers. More terrestrial than extraterrestrial, obduction means when one oceanic tectonic plate heaves up and laps over a continental plate. One world eclipsing another. Imagine the confusion you’d feel if you one day woke up underwater. Myst (1993) began with Atrus (one of the series’ central curators, played by co-creator Rand Miller) falling out of his world. An iconic frame—prime enough for the box art—of a free-fall silhouette descending from a rift into a starry unknown. In a similar setup, Obduction begins with the world falling on to…


Not even Anarcute can put a friendly face on rioting

State of Emergency (2002) seemed real dumb even to a 14-year-old kid reading its EGM cover story. A chaser to Rockstar’s monumental Grand Theft Auto III (2001), State of Emergency wanted to carry on the torch, but only for Grand Theft Auto’s chaos and edginess. It was a Crazy Taxi (1999) for rioting where you’d play as thugged-out agents of mayhem, torching bystanders, smashing property, and maiming mall cops into pools of blood and floor tiles. According to David Kushner’s book on Rockstar, Jacked (2012), a reporter from the Tacoma News Tribune called up Rockstar’s PR in May of 2001…

Dots & Co

Dots & Co brings even more friends to the dot-popping series

During the spring of 2014, a cloud-bearded pappy and his blushing daughter went on a quest to connect dots in dangerous places. A puzzle game with pleasant, sojourn aesthetics, TwoDots took players to volcanic peaks and icy depths, battling lava and thawing matching dabs of color. Some good stuff to keep idle thumbs busy, but at its lowest points felt like it had succumb to the atypical mobile dilemmas—a sinking feeling that the game was more than hard but rigged. Levels only guaranteed to be beaten with payable power-ups, and with attempts tied to a clock, later levels shifted from…

The Lion's Song

The Lion’s Song takes you back in time to tackle creative block

There are a lot of adventure games that can leave you feeling stumped. Scanning the environments, trying to wedge objects together like a baby mashing toys, clicking up and down the page like the moving parts of a fax machine before giving up, perhaps indefinitely. Maybe this frustration is where the point-and-click format clicks with another damning mental slog, namely in Mipumi Games’s The Lion’s Song, a serene and novel story about creative block. When the pain and the ecstasy blend, you find clarity Expanding on a game from Ludum Dare 30, the first chapter of The Lion’s Song focuses on…

Bravery Network

Forget fighting Pokémon, it’s all about doing battle with Ennui Teens now

Header image: A “suuuuuuper early” image of Bravery Network /// One of the reasons Bravery Network is being made is because Damian Sommer, creator of Chesh (2015) and The Yawhg (2013), couldn’t find anyone to play Pokémon with. “I played a lot of competitive Pokémon,” said Sommer, “I still do, actually. It’s just a lot of fun for me. I’m the best Pokémon player I know, but I’m not that good in the grand scheme of things. I don’t really have anyone I know who can take me on.” Sommer laments that people don’t always seem to appreciate Pokémon’s player-on-player battle…

Wilson's Heart

Wilson’s Heart brings a healthy dose of The Twilight Zone to VR

Aside from a fairly prominent pinball machine, a more or less unknown Amiga game, and some homages from 2010’s Alan Wake (which, to be fair, homaged everything), the sudden crash course between The Twilight Zone and videogames sure has been a curveball. First this year was Oxenfree’s haunted-prop overnight horror—which was good. Then, BioShock’s Ken Levine decided to revive the classic sci-fi/fantasy series as an interactive film. Which I’ve got a baaaaaaaaad feeling about. And now the folks at Twisted Pixel Studios, who created ‘Splosion Man (2009) and The Maw (2009), are making their own VR sendup called Wilson’s Heart. Which I have a much…