No Place for Bravery

Is there enough room for another pixel-art RPG?

There’s a close-knit cloud of terms frequently cropping up in the discussion of action role-playing games lately. “Atmospheric,” “minimalist,” “roguelike,” “pixel art,” et cetera. Hyper Light Drifter established its appeal almost entirely on the back of these signifiers. Titan Souls did the same last year, and the upcoming Children of Morta is looking to bring in the same traffic too. But for every new (or, in this case, old) aesthetic enjoying the apex of popularity, there comes the inevitable point of exhaustion. Such as might become the case with No Place for Bravery. It is pitched along the lines of being a 2D roguelike action-RPG…


A daddy-daughter stealth game about escaping a war-torn city

It goes without saying that sensationalized military conflict has long been a staple of the videogame landscape. From Contra (1987) to Halo 2 (2004), Modern Warfare (2007) to Bad Company (2008), the variety of titles that allow players to occupy the boots of a laconic lone shooter on foreign territory are innumerable. The number of games centered on the lives of bystanders caught in the crossfire? Not so many. Recent titles such as This War of Mine (2014) and Papers Please (2013) are a notable couple, panning the focus away from the bombs and bullets to ruminate on the human…

The Sexy Brutale

The creators of Rime are also working on a murderous masquerade ball game

I have never attended a fancy socialite soirée before. On the chance occasion that my mind wanders as to what such experience would be like, my imagination inevitably concocts a scenario not unlike Edgar Allan Poe’s The Masque of the Red Death (1842) mixed with a particularly fiendish round of Clue. A grand celebratory occasion equal parts bacchanalian and cockamamie. A new puzzle adventure announced by Tequila Works, called The Sexy Brutale, does little to disabuse me of this admittedly far-fetched fantasy, instead choosing to go all in on the inherent absurdity that permeates the glossy allure of high society. Set at…

Verdict Guilty

A videogame satire of police culture gives you something to think about

As far as violent crime rates go, South Korea is relatively tame when compared to most of its contemporaries. As detailed in a crime and safety report conducted by the U.S. Department of State Overseas Security Advisory Council (OSAC) last year, with the majority of crimes amounting to persistent low-level street crime such as pickpocketing and disorderly conduct. Reports and subsequent prosecution of sexual assault have risen, though this is in part owed to the Korean National Police’s concentrated campaign to root out and raise awareness of this problem since 2013. The country’s overall crime statistics have remained relatively static since…


Mosaic will tackle the soul-crushing surrealism of adult life

Kafkaesque. It’s a word whose usage in everyday conversation has inspired an unfair status as a self-effacing pejorative of pseudo-intellectualism. Believe it or not, Kafkaesque does retain a meaning apart from these misconceptions; a shorthand description of the soul-crushing drudgery and ineffectual bureaucratic tyranny found in the absurdist-nightmare fictions of, you guessed it, Franz Kafka. It’s a word that’s grown to typify the restless indignation of the individual working in the white-collar hive-mind of the 21st century, and it’s a word that aptly describes the tone of Krillbite Studio’s upcoming point-and-click adventure Mosaic. you’ll start to realize that something is…


What the hell is Cloverfield, anyway?

It all stands out to me as clear as yesterday. A scrawny, bright-eyed teenager circa ‘07, sat across the aisle with his friends, popcorn gripped between thighs, the SMS touchpads of flip-phones being thumbed impatiently. It’s the opening weekend of Michael Bay’s Transformers and we are ready to see some gigantic robots. Our excited chatter is quickly hushed with the operant cue of the dimming house-lights and the sound of a worn projector sputtering to life. Images of an upscale house party fill the screen—a scene so far removed from our expectations that the question as to whether we were…


Beautiful drone photos depict the warped cityscapes of our future

Photography has always possessed this peculiar quality of contorting a space as well as documenting it. For instance, take motion photography, which captures the momentum of a moving object in a static image while often at the same time distilling the background into a blur of bokeh and light trails. Or tilt-shift photography, where the selective focus of a frame reduces the enormous minutiae of daily human life into a diorama of dramas. Filmmaker and photographer Aydin Büyüktas’ Flatland series, named after Edwin Abbott’s multi-dimensional novella, shapes the world of its subjects while at the same time revealing them. multifaceted…


PUP’s latest music video is an alcohol-fueled videogame riot

If great art does in fact flourish out of restraints, then it’s no surprise that the chiptune melodies of early games have so firmly embedded themselves in the hearts of the generations that grew up alongside them. This is particularly apparent in the mutual infatuation that the realms of videogames and music videos share. Just look at Bonobo’s Silver or Royksopp’s Happy Up Here videos that each clearly borrow from games, for example. The opposite is just as much true in the case of Mobigame’s mobile game Truckers Delight (2010) and Buncho Games’ adaptation of Jamiroquai’s Virtual Insanity video. a manic, machinima mixtape of footage The latest video for…


John Carpenter’s The Thing refuses to change shape

The Thing is one of the most peculiar media series to try and wrap your head around. For starters, as far as series go, it struggles to qualify, mostly orbiting John Carpenter’s 1982 film, with a small and loose assemblage of multimedia offshoots (a comic series, a prequel film) dancing at the edges of its gravity. You could argue that the series itself resembles its titular namesake: an amorphous entity that devours and impersonates the characteristics of its predecessor; each incarnation a diminishing return of success. Part of the difficulty in capitalizing on The Thing’s clout through serialization is the…