Anthrotari explores growing up as a queer furry in the ‘90s

Dial-up modems, Windows 95 floppies, IRC channels, and free American Online disks. Ask anyone who lived through the internet boom of the ‘90s and these are guaranteed to be some of the first things that come to mind. But for New York-based game developer J.C. Holder, who uses they/them pronouns, there was another aspect of their identity that marked growing up online: the anthropomorphic furry community. Holder’s upcoming game, Anthrotari, is a visual novel that casts the player in the role of a furry roleplayer named Alex. Through IRC channels, Alex hangs out with a group of anthros across the…

Lady Layton

The Professor Layton series has a new main character, and she’s a girl

The Professor Layton series of puzzle-adventure games has always been about one man and his boy sidekick. But that’s changing. As Gematsu reports, Level-5 has announced what I suppose you can call a reboot of the series with Lady Layton: The Millionaire Ariadone’s Conspiracy. As the title alludes to, it’ll put you in the shoes of Katrielle “Kat” Layton, the titular professor’s daughter. Taking place some years after the original series, the game starts with Kat attempting to track down her father, following in the Professor’s footsteps as she solves puzzles across London. Gradually, Kat begins to earn her own reputation as…

Silent Hill 2

Some of the best ambient videogame moments in one mix

For a medium born in the past 100 years, it can be hard to build a direct linearity through videogaming. The blocky, stiff movements of Hideo Kojima’s Metal Gear Solid (1998) feels worlds apart from the fluid animations and semi-realistic graphics of such games as this year’s Quantum Break and Rockstar’s L.A. Noire (2011). Videogames move at a fast pace, as every year ushers in new advances in graphics processing and storytelling. It can be hard to keep up. a landscape of videogaming But there is a direct timeline that can be seen throughout gaming. Today’s releases are entirely indebted…

Make Your Own Video Games

Anna Anthropy’s new book aims to teach game design to kids

Game maker Anna Anthropy is no stranger to book publishing. She’s contributed to multiple anthologies in the past, including Merritt Kopas’s Videogames for Humans (2015) and Seven Stories Press’s The State of Play (2015). She’s also written multiple works of her own, including 2012’s Rise of the Videogame Zinesters and Boss Fight Books’s 2014 critical overview ZZT. This November, Anthropy has another book planned for release. But her demographic is a little different: she’s writing videogame guides aimed at young kids. Published by No Starch Press, Make Your Own Video Game!: With PuzzleScript, Scratch, and Twine is an all-ages approach…

Paradise Lost

Paradise Lost reimagined as a SNES game

The SNES JRPG aesthetic has always had a certain charm. From chiptune album covers to horror stories about haunted game cartridges, many artists seem to gravitate towards the pixel art found throughout Nintendo’s RPG releases of yesteryear. What appears as a simple solution to the console’s limited system RAM actually presents a design style capable of extremely complex and fascinating artwork. Just take a look at the gorgeous backgrounds seen in Tales of Phantasia (1995) or the character design behind Square’s Chrono Trigger (1995). London-based electronic music duo Delta Heavy is the latest artist to adopt that classic aesthetic, with…


Tyranny will let you play around with the cruellest politics

What happens to the world after war? Obsidian Entertainment’s upcoming role-playing game Tyranny is interested in exploring that dilemma. Taking place in a fantasy realm sat right in the middle of the Bronze Age and the Iron Age, the game begins after the evil dictator Kyros the Overlord has united the world under his grasp. Players take on the role of a Fatebinder, destined with restoring order to the lands in the wake of the largest war the region has ever seen. But the Fatebinder isn’t an outcast, barely scraping by a living in the lowly Kyros Empire. No, unlike such RPGs as Dragon Age:…


The irresistible appeal of roguelike storytelling

A 20-something girl stands in an elevator. There’s an eye patch on her face, a shotgun on her back, and a pistol in her right hand. The door opens, and she hits the ground running into a room full of drones. They hover over her, firing red lasers completely bent on killing her. After all, why wouldn’t they be? Molly Pop is the head of the Zero Sum Gang, and she’s on a mission to topple the Fero corporation by raiding their bunkers one-by-one. She wastes no time, shooting down the flying robots in seconds, then travelling down a hallway…


A series of inputs and outputs

Colossal Cave Adventure (or, Adventure for short) isn’t exactly a familiar title today. Developed during the early 1970s, Adventure was written by programmer Will Crowther while working for Bolt, Beranek and Newman. Crowther was an advent cave explorer, and had vast experience surveying the Kentucky caves. So, combining his love for caverning with his passion for fantasy role-playing, Crowther wrote a short interactive story about exploring a fantastical cave for his daughters. With the help of programmer Don Woods, the game quickly spread across the fledgling internet, and became an instant phenomenon. By the late 1970s, Adventure had ushered in…