The Norwood Suite

The creator of Off-Peak is making another uncanny museum

Early last year, independent game maker Cosmo D came bursting onto the scene with Off-Peak (2015), a bizarre exhibition of artifacts that is museum, musical, and story all at once. It threw you into a train station on the very edge of reality and gave you a task to do, begging you not be distracted by the infinite staircases or the inexplicable, repeating figures. Like lots of games, it was a “love letter to a lot of things,” and like lots of games, it evokes the desire to re-explore. Luckily, Cosmo’s new game The Norwood Suite is being realized in the same…


Expect to gather round Djur’s bonfire for a sci-fi fable

The campfire story has been resurrected in videogames recently. A rush of independent games have taken their own spin on the sit-around-and-talker, and the idea of making a game out of a fable is currently being tested by upcoming games like Forest of Sleep. The recently-announced game Djur expands this area of thinking, and aims to combine the quiet calm of fantasy worlds with sci-fi, and explore the meaning of myth and humanity through folk tales. it attracts the uncanny So far we don’t know much about Djur besides the unusual moniker of “sci-fi fable.” But that’s okay, because the little…


Broken Reality wants to take you on an adventure through ’90s internet

So, last time we saw the game—experiment? accident? digital hellbeast?—Broken Reality, it was more of a hyper-animated art collage than anything. A game lurked somewhere behind all the faux-Myspace popups, it was said, but there were no actual details to be found. A vague teaser trailer gave a glimpse of the attitude of the beast, and the game’s Tumblr certainly promoted the aesthetic, but anything beyond that was radio silence. it was more of a hyper-animated art collage than anything Luckily, it seems that Broken Reality has re-emerged from its bizarre technicolor web-cave and has come out with something a bit…


There’s more Tacoma footage and it just keeps getting better

IGN has released the first 15 minutes Fullbright’s next game Tacoma, and it’s looking astonishingly good. We’d already gotten glimpses of its ship as Amy, the protagonist, slipped around in zero-gravity, transferring from surface to surface to navigate the empty ship, and we’d seen the first echoes of those that used to inhabit it: colorful human-shaped holograms, going about their lives on loop as Amy stayed quiet and watched. we watch them converse and lament, joke and flirt and worry But with this new footage we get an even closer look at the AR ghosts that drive Tacoma’s plot—we watch them…


You guys, Porpentine wrote a game in Google Forms

Porpentine, the matriarch of experimental Twine games, is at it again. Known as the creator of games such as With Those We Love Alive (2014), Cry$tal Warrior Ke$ha (2013), and the XYZZY award-winning Howling Dogs (2012), her trademark is evocative prose and bold subject matter: she often discusses femininity and queerness, and has no qualms about exploring the explicit, the gory or the overwhelming. Her work is generally heavily text-based, though many of her games include strong visual and audio elements. But now she’s breaking the mold—or not, depending on how you look at it. Her latest project, All Your…


Aww, a game about lonely robots evokes the best children’s animation

A young boy, seen through a viewfinder, discusses the ocean with his mom. The screen buzzes; the boy disappears; two eyes blink open. They belong to a little metal carapace that scrambles around an empty room, tugging at switches and saying, “Hello?” The boy is nowhere to be found, but the bot keeps looking, earnest and determined. This is Abi, a new story-focused puzzle game from Grant&Bert Studios. It resembles WALL-E (2008) in its story, which similarly follows a pair of robots wandering around the remnants of Earth after human beings’ mass exodus. You play as two droids that used…


Thank you, Ultima Ratio Regum, for making RPG dialogue less boring

Ultima Ratio Regum, Mark Johnson’s epic 10-year roguelike project, aims to do a lot of things, but first and foremost it aims to reinvent how we approach procedural generation in lore-heavy games. The traditional view of algorithm-based writing is that it hits roadblocks between expansive possibilities and convincing humanity. Though you can program a game to offer hundreds of different choices, many will inevitably end up sounding similar. It leads to criticisms of procedural generation as “soulless,” and many doubt that computers will ever be able to create realistic humanity in such a significant manner. differ speech without ignoring the…


ReCore downplays its robot dog, which is all we care about

When ReCore’s first trailer premiered at E3 2015, the protagonist Joule and her scrappy robot dog charmed everyone with their expeditious tag-team adventure. Evoking Rey’s lone scavenger vibe from Star Wars: The Force Awakens (2015), the brief blast of combat at the trailer’s end promised creative, cooperative action—and a canine companion with the trick of interchangeable bodies, so you never need worry about the dog dying. Joule and co. seemed sweet, despite their attacking prowess, and the idea of an open desert to romp through and explore was tantalizing. weird, hidden garages full of violence Pre-release material has since hinted…

Bethesda glitch

In defense of Bethesda’s notorious videogame glitches

Glitches and bugs have become the hallmark of Bethesda Softworks’ renowned 3D RPGs. Their releases are riddled with them: Fallout 3 (2008) regularly sent robots and Deathclaws flying through the air, The Elder Scrolls IV: Oblivion (2006) had an arrow duplication glitch that led to the greatest YouTube videos in the world, and characters fell through the map in The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim (2011), like, all the time. Any upcoming Bethesda game is met with excitement, and then a caveat: you’ll have a great time… if you can make it through without glitching. Some are little, like characters clipping…