Slayaway Camp

Slayaway Camp turns VHS horror into a cute, murderous puzzle

Slayaway Camp is a puzzle game about massacring hapless teenagers, and, perhaps fittingly, it comes from a place of aggression. “After a decade [of] making gems go clink and pegs go… Peggle at PopCap,” said Jason Kapalka, one of the founders of PopCap, and now returning to independence with Blue Wizard, “I had a lot of pent-up aggression and wanted to work on something really violent and gross.” A sliding puzzle game isn’t the most likely candidate to vent such vicious desires. And that’s entirely the point—Kapalka is looking to assault the sparkly, saccharine game genre with Slayaway Camp in action. As…


Schlong is just like Pong, but with 100% more dicks

Needless to say, this article is NSFW. /// This is a difficult question to ask, so I’m just going to go ahead and get right to the meat of it. Have you ever been playing Pong (1972) and wished that, instead of the rigid paddles, you could get something a little more floppy in your hands? Schlong could have you covered. Created by Dillon Sommerville, Schlong replaces both player’s paddles in a traditional game of Pong with erect but surprisingly flexible penises, flopping around the place with the aim of deflecting a ball back at the opponent’s goal. That’s all there is to it.…

Disc Room

Disc Room distills 1970s dystopias down to a bloody demise

If there’s one thing that Disc Room shares with Vlambeer’s games—the studio for which creator Jan Willem Nijman works under when he’s not toiling away on other projects—it’s the ability to get all the action packed into a single GIF. That and screenshake. Of course it has screenshake. Disc Room is a game of avoidance—what Nijman calls a “dodge-’em up.” You need to survive 30 seconds in a cramped arena in order to grow old in this spin-off of 70s-inspired dystopian science fiction, including Logan’s Run (1976) and THX 1138 (1971). Your only weapons against the evil discs trying to smear you across the walls are…

Milano Game Festival

The Milano Games Festival aims for thoughtful discussion around videogames

A big part of playing videogames is doing so collaboratively. We like to talk about and share our experiences. Before now, arcades were the place to go for this, where you could gather around arcade cabinets, watching your peers smashing high-scores and giving commentary as you wait for your chance to play. But now it’s mostly online, with livestreaming services letting thousands of people gather around a single game-playing session, all shouting into the chat. Seizing on this kind of behavior—albeit hoping to foster more thoughtful discussion—and coming hot on the heels of film festivals like Cannes, Sundance, and Toronto, is…

On Rusty Trails

On Rusty Trails, a videogame about the absurdity of racial prejudice

While On Rusty Trails may look like yet another 2D platformer at first, its creators at Black Pants Studio took it beyond that simplistic impression by enabling a discussion about race through the game’s primary mechanic. “It was one of those days where I read the newspaper and there was an article about guys beating up people for having the wrong skin color,” said Tobias Bilgeri, the game’s designer. “I read another article where a German politician said: we do our best, but the people who come to us have to integrate themselves. Then I thought, even if they eat bratwurst, drink…


Kursk will turn a real submarine disaster into a documentary game

As a 6’7 (2m) man, the cramped quarters of submarines are anathema to me. So, when I saw the teaser for Jujubee Games Studio’s submarine survival game Kursk last year, it’s fair to say I was horrified, and more than a little uneasy. It wasn’t only due to the small virtual spaces of the game, either. To bring you up to speed: Kursk will explore the tragic story of the nuclear-powered submarine of the same name, which sank during a training exercise on August 12th, 2000 with all 118 crew members still on board. That’s some tricky subject matter. Jujubee claims Kursk will…


Everything we know about The Chinese Room’s next game so far

There’s a terrible pun here about The Chinese Room leaving us totally in the dark about their new game, Total Dark, but I’m trying to be better than that. Maybe. Anyway… It’s been a few months now since Everybody’s Gone to Rapture (2015) emerged, triumphant, on the PlayStation 4, and so it’s fair to ask what’s next for the Brighton-based studio. The answer three months ago was the self-funded RPG Total Dark, an isometric adventure game that “took inspiration from those old paper-based RPG systems of the late 80s and early 90s.” However, in a blog post on the studio’s site yesterday, The…

Sinner's Sorrow

Sinner’s Sorrow wants to unsettle you with its black-and-white world

If you asked me to describe bitHuffel’s second title, Sinner’s Sorrow, in one word after having seen the teaser trailer, it’d be bleak. It’s all skeleton soldiers, sentient trees, large demons, bashed iron shields; dark medieval conflict. It’s also a drastic departure from the studio’s first project, Zenizenzic (2015), but for developer Ruud Koorevaar that’s half the fun. “On this new project I want to be challenged by new ideas and new approaches,” said. “Going completely the opposite direction in regards to art style and gameplay is definitely one way to accomplish that.” While it may be cliché to say,t here’s definitely a touch…

Dear Esther

Dear Esther is being turned into a live musical performance

Fans of The Chinese Room will want to keep a slot open in their diaries. The Barbican has teamed up with the studio to put together a live performance of their game Dear Esther (2012) on October 14th. The performance will coincide with the Xbox One and PlayStation 4 re-releases of the game. Dear Esther was part of the birth of a new genre of videogames, the walking simulator/exploration game/look-em-up (delete as applicable.) It is, it’s fair to say, a landmark in games, and this chance to experience it live isn’t one to be missed. “A deserted landscape, memories of…