Orbyss
News

Orbyss brings the beauty of ribbon gymnastics to your phone

Super Hexagon (2012) has you think in hexagons, Orbyss in circles. Repeat that: Orbyss. Circles. Don’t stop there, either. You should chant this to yourself quietly—or just in your head—as you play Orbyss. You’re gonna need to. Circles, circles, circles. Loops, loops, loops. For if you don’t drill that command into your brain you shall fail. You’ll fail anyway, a lot, like every five seconds, but with a little persistence you can match the complex elegance of a ribbon-twirling rhythmic gymnast. That’s what Orbyss mimics as you get better at it too—a magical performance of flutters and twirls. It’s a game about…

glitched gif
News

GLITCHED will break the fourth wall just to be your friend

You’ve lived in the same town all your life, a tiny idyllic village well removed from the world beyond its borders. Life is simple but reassuring in the way of a well-maintained schedule or a checked-off to-do list, and you have very little to want or desire beyond it. You’re content to tread well-worn paths with your best friend and ask nothing else of life. One day, in flagrant defiance of all established patterns, your friend says that he’s going away—reasons unknown, motive mysterious. The night before his departure he disappears, and you look up at the sky, and see…

Indigo Child
News

Chat with lonely ghosts in Indigo Child

In the 80s and 90s, “indigo children” were a topic out of New Age philosophy that gained some mainstream popularity. The idea was that certain gifted children might possess unusual or paranormal abilities. It’s the kind of thing that would have made for a good X-Files episode, or if you’re developer Metkis, it makes for a good short game. Indigo Child is about talking to ghosts, but it has an air of melancholy you won’t find in Wadjet Eye’s Blackwell series, despite the shared premise of a character who can talk to ghosts in order to help them find peace…

music for jostling commuters
News

The glitch noise and cassette tape nostalgia of Nico Antwerp’s new album

“In the crowd of a subway station, commuters stand on the platform of an impersonal world, in a situation that may well stand as epitome of modern high-tech civilisation.” This is what Nico Antwerp had to say about the inspiration behind “music for jostling commuters,” a 2:32 track set for release later this year on audio cassette. Antwerp is a frequent collaborator with visual artists (see his work on Dreamland) and the collaboration with Benjamin Sammon marries the similarities of their craft. Antwerp’s music carries with it the strains of the -wave and -punk internet subgenres that have come before…

philosophy_illustration
Announcement

Why we’re relaunching our print magazine

Header image by Rune Fisker /// In less than two weeks, we are relaunching our print magazine with Issue 9. We’re incredibly excited to show you what we’ve been working on. For a limited time, use the discount code RELAUNCH to receive 10% off your purchase of Issue 9, or off a 4 issue subscription. When we founded Kill Screen only seven years ago, the “game world” was a surprisingly different place. Many of the presumed fault lines in games—between independent and mainstream, artful and commercial, local and global—were just starting to penetrate the public discourse. “Indie Games” had been around since the early…

quadcowboy
News

Sit down and hack into the analog world of Quadrilateral Cowboy

Sign up to receive each week’s Playlist e-mail here! Also check out our full, interactive Playlist section. QUADRILATERAL COWBOY (Windows) BY BLENDO GAMES From the maker of Gravity Bone (2008) and Thirty Flights of Loving (2012), Quadrilateral Cowboy (affectionately nicknamed Quad Cow) is the latest vignette game from Brendon Chung of Blendo Games. A story told in the same world as Thirty Flights of Loving, this one focuses on the effects of technology in our experience of culture, careers, relationships, and privacy. Combining the aesthetics and mentality of Y2K with the badass heists of Oceans Eleven, Quadrilateral Cowboy invites players to…

hillary 2016
News

Hillary Clinton’s app will make you feel empty inside

In another attempt to reach out to young voters, former Secretary Clinton’s campaign has released a Hillary 2016 app. The concept is pretty simple: login daily to complete challenges, for which you are rewarded stars/points. You can cash in these rewards for items to decorate your Campaign HQ with. Challenges include quizzes such as the “Trump or False” quiz, which, only by taking the quiz, could I understand wanted me to guess whether Trump or someone else had said a quote. You can decorate the HQ with items as varied as starter, modern, or vintage couches, various “X group for…

The edge lands
News

Eerie adventure The Edgelands knows the power of sound design

Though often marginalized in favor of flashier words like “graphics” and “gameplay” and “fully-immersive-like-for-real-this-time,” sound design can be one of the most gripping parts of a game. Just ask anyone whose hackles are automatically raised at battle music from an RPG, or who’s spent sleepless nights ducking away from incorporeal whispers in a horror game. One of my all-time favorite moments in videogames was at the end of Kentucky Route Zero’s (2013) interlude The Entertainment, where the low buzz of electric lights is your one warning before the Hard Times boys come to collect. We often think of video games…

Sacramento
News

Sacramento is way too darn pretty

Sacramento is a fleeting memory, a transitory moment for one to enjoy before life resumes its course. Creator Delphine Fourneau—who also goes by the name Dziff—describes the game as ephemeral; it’s the best word I could find to describe it, too. The scenes in Sacramento are snippets of Fourneau’s own memories of a train journey taken across the United States. She didn’t intend the memories to be literal, however—that’s not what Sacramento is about. Rather, it’s about the “impressions of these ephemeral places that leave you these sweet pictures in the back of your mind,” she said. In Sacramento, players simply wander—or “drift aimlessly”—through…