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Party on down with a skeleton dress-up game

Ever had one of those nights where—no matter what you do, how you accessorize, in sweats or dressed to the nines, after a good day or a bad one—you still feel like nothing but a skeleton with skin crudely stretched over your bones? To make matters worse, this is the sort of night you can’t avoid; giving up on your plans is unthinkable (it’s your final college hurrah, your friend’s engagement party, your own birthday), even as you struggle to make yourself feel and look like a real person. Those nights you are reduced to a shambling sham of a human being, unable to pass…

Project Diva X
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Project DIVA X, or: How I learned to stop worrying and embrace Hatsune Miku as my God

Who the fuck is Hatsune Miku? Some may say she’s a Vocaloid, the poster child for the voice synthesizer software engineered by Crypton Future Media. Others may say she’s just an idol, one of the pure virtual variety, playing shows as a hologram from time to time. Others will attribute her likeness to mostly being a videogame character, appearing time and time again as the face of Sega’s Project DIVA rhythm game franchise. But I say she’s something more. Miku is a God. Dancing, singing, performing extraordinaire Hatsune Miku does not know pain. She only knows happiness, glee, cheerfulness. Except…

LGBTQ Archive
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New grant gives the LGBTQ Game Archive official backing

Adrienne Shaw, an assistant professor in Temple University’s Department of Media Studies and Production, has been working on LGBTQ issues in videogames for over a decade now. But there was an assumption she made about the field that led her down her most recent path. Every time she would talk about her work, someone would inevitably ask her about the history of LGBTQ content in videogames. She assumed someone else would have taken on the task of archiving such work, but she was wrong. “Every time I wanted to teach about or talk about LGBTQ game content holistically, I felt…

disjointed
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The disjointed Prague of Deus Ex: Mankind Divided

Heterotopias is a series of visual investigations into virtual spaces performed by writer and artist Gareth Damian Martin. /// To me, Prague has always felt like a city uniquely in communion with the past and future versions of itself. I remember my first visit, a local friend taking me to the once mysterious, now legendary Cross Club: an amorphous labyrinth of scrap metal occupying the lower floors and basement of a decaying, communist-era panelák. Stumbling past the ubiquitous leather-clad and shorn-headed bouncers into one of its dancefloors was like wandering into a William Gibson wonderland, bubbling tubes of mysterious green liquid and angular metal…


Recent News

Issue 9

Our relaunched magazine is here!

Kill Screen Issue 9 kicks off our all-new relaunch. Games are exploding into all sorts of weird new experiences and we’re on the ground to let you know what’s what. From deeply reported features on Lily Zone and the creators of Kentucky Route Zero to gorgeous original photography and illustrations, Issue 9 is a vibrant, accessible vision of videogame culture that we can’t wait for you to read.


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PaRappa The Rapper
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Kill Screen now has a mixtape of our favorite music on Spotify

Spotify recently introduced another category to help people sift through its gargantuan catalog of music. That category was “Gaming.” You’ll find a bunch of game soundtracks and playlists that have been curated with a view to provide an alternate soundtrack to whatever game you’re playing. With this effort from Spotify to lay a bridge across mediums came an opportunity for us, as people into both videogames and music, to do the same. That is why Kill Screen now has its own Guest List over on Spotify that you can follow. Simply put, it’s a mixtape of music we like, and we’ll be looking…

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A videogame dedicated to the stray dogs of Russia’s subways

In the Mendeleevskaya station of the Moscow Metro there is a bronze statue, often decorated with flowers, titled “Compassion” which was erected in 2007. This statue is of Malchik, a stray dog that lived in the subway and was a friend of the railway workers. Malchik is the most famous, but to this day there is a population of stray dogs in the Moscow Metro in search of food. Russian Subway Dogs by Spooky Squid Games draws inspiration from these dogs in all their adorableness and complexity. Originally made as an entry for the GDC Pirate Kart game jam (which…

Castles Made of Castles
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Castles Made of Castles lets you easily create complex architecture

There’s a sort of serene pleasure that comes from uniform design schemes. Whether it’s a car with two identical sides, a train that could be perfectly split in half, or a skyscraper in an evenly cubical shape; orderly architecture gives off a sense of harmony and pleasure to the viewer. These endeavors are testaments to the power of organization and stability. But why should we be confined to simply enjoying these designs as onlookers? Why not create our own? Nico Disseldorp’s online project Castles Made of Castles is a love letter to orderly architecture. Described as a “geometry toy,” Disseldorp’s…

frank ocean
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Style Savvy, Frank Ocean, and taking a break from reality

Life’s been busy and stressful. I have little time to unwind, well, aside from my nightly rounds of Overwatch. But this weekend was different. I had finished up most impending work and my partner was gone for the weekend, off on a spontaneous road trip with his best friend. For once, my apartment was quiet, at a standstill. The world was my oyster. So I spent my Saturday night the same way any twenty-something with rare free time and a 3DS might: by cracking open a beer, playing the newly-released Style Savvy: Fashion Forward, and, as luck would have it,…

enyo
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Indirect combat is all you’ll have to tackle ENYO’s labyrinth monsters

In an industry that likes to stab stuff almost as much as it likes to shoot people, an “indirect combat” game might seem a little out of place. In fact, the concept has more in common with puzzles than fighting games, as the inability to directly attack your opponent means that the player is forced to use the terrain and any abilities they might have to their advantage. It’s the same idea as forcing a spider to fall off a cracked wall in Lara Croft GO (2015): if you can’t approach them directly, lure them to another doom.   drag…

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A game about pretending to play chess is all about performance

It really is as if you were playing chess, except Pippin Barr’s newest game It is as if you were playing chess doesn’t include a chess board. There are no pawns, Kings, or Queens. No pieces at all, really—just instructions. Move this dot here. Look here. Now here. Tilt your head and cringe. Move again. It is as if you were playing chess makes a game of pretending to play a game. “To the observer, it should look as though the player is genuinely playing some kind of game,” Pippin Barr writes. “In this case, the idea is for them to…

Warby Parker X Kill Screen
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Looky, looky: We’ve partnered up with Warby Parker for a game and glasses

Warby Parker and Kill Screen have in common a creative (and unconventional) approach to their respective fields of interest. Now we have a project in common, too: an original videogame and a pair of limited-edition glasses! As of today, August 23rd, Warby Parker’s first-ever—and totally free—videogame is available to play on screens at the Warby Parker website. With the help of Highline Games, Warby Parker and Kill Screen designed a physics-based matching game that perfectly captures our shared love of design and entertainment. Visually, it’s as beautiful as to be expected from us, and the physics-based ballfeel (calm it!) hits the sweet spot of being…

The Only Shadow That The Desert Knows
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Work this new roguelike out and you can be a time-travelling historian

After wandering around for a few years in the wilderness of The Only Shadow That The Desert Knows, I stumbled into a city. ASCII characters, caves, and poison toads led me to believe that the creator of the game, Jeremiah Reid, had made a fairly traditional roguelike for 7DRL 2016. But when I stepped into Hiast for the first time, I was handed a pile of books—biographies, histories, maps—and a list of lost works. My favorite part of Dwarf Fortress (2006) has always been generating a world to look through its histories, following heroes and their descendants through wars, or famines,…

AbandonShip_Combat_Mid
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Upcoming game about sea battles is made to resemble oil paintings

The brave elegance of ships at sea has fascinated artists since humans first took to the waves. The “Age of Sail” from the 16th to mid-19th century lifted maritime art to new heights, when sea battles, storms and huge, proud ships made naval painting its own genre. Collections like the National Maritime Museum have hundreds of such paintings, many of which were commissioned by naval officers or by private collectors with an affection for the subject. A few games have attempted to take to the sea, like the aptly named Age of Sail (1996), Sid Meier’s Pirates! (2004), or the…

The Texas Chain Saw Masscare
Feature

Screenage life: What looking at screens all day is doing to your eyes

This article is part of Vision Week, our exploration of eyeballs and videogames celebrating our collaboration with Warby Parker. Grab a pair of limited edition Kill Screen glasses here: warbyparker.com/kill-screen /// The eyes are among the most sophisticated organs in your body, comprising an automatic focusing and light sensitivity system far better than the best cameras and film designed to date. Four separate surfaces bend light as it enters the eye, and ciliary muscles flex in order to make these lenses change shape, flattening and thickening to account for distance and light. In other words, there’s a lot of work…