Wilson's Heart

Wilson’s Heart brings a healthy dose of The Twilight Zone to VR

Aside from a fairly prominent pinball machine, a more or less unknown Amiga game, and some homages from 2010’s Alan Wake (which, to be fair, homaged everything), the sudden crash course between The Twilight Zone and videogames sure has been a curveball. First this year was Oxenfree’s haunted-prop overnight horror—which was good. Then, BioShock’s Ken Levine decided to revive the classic sci-fi/fantasy series as an interactive film. Which I’ve got a baaaaaaaaad feeling about. And now the folks at Twisted Pixel Studios, who created ‘Splosion Man (2009) and The Maw (2009), are making their own VR sendup called Wilson’s Heart. Which I have a much…


An upcoming cyberpunk horror is about hacking into people’s fears

While Polish studio Bloober Team doesn’t have the most intimidating name in the world, their horror game released earlier this year, Layers of Fear, showed that they had a particular appetite for dread. Loaded as it was with Edgar Allan Poe clichés, Layers of Fear still hinted a certain mastery of perspective. The game’s strongest moments were when paintings and pedestrian items began to feel like instruments of a malicious trickster, a game where it felt like something was right behind you or crawling between the walls. Fear and its perceptions seem to be the driving force in their new…


Steep will let you cheat death by never risking it in the first place

Listen. Me and heights? We don’t have what I’d describe as an amiable relationship. If you try to shuffle your house party on to the roof, I’m going to be the square making a case for couches and kitchen access. And the surge of GoPro stunt videos? I think the only reason I can white knuckle through them is because their very publication guarantees the daredevil survived. If you live your life in a flying squirrel suit just to thread the needle of a rock formation that’s the result of centuries of climate and sediment conditioning, and not designed as…

Ben Esposito

Confessions of an online prankster: A good laugh with Ben Esposito

This article is part of Issue 8.5, a digital zine available to Kill Screen’s print subscribers. Read more about it here and get a copy yourself by subscribing to our soon-to-be-relaunched print magazine. /// April Fools is a dead sport. One popular, though extremely contested belief is that the holiday was created when Pope Gregory XIII switched to the Gregorian calendar, shifting New Year’s Day to January and leaving the uninformed rubes celebrating in March. It had lived for centuries, only to die on the internet. Pranks are lovely, but with every brand, website, and their dog planning to roast up…


OmniBus can’t stop, won’t stop

Beating one of the levels in OmniBus means driving over a ramp, bonking the head off a statue, and careening into a set of bowling pins before turning right-side up to drive straight into the endless blue ocean. I take no responsibility for that last part. After you beat any of the game’s levels you can continue to watch the titular OmniBus drive in its configuration—whether that’s straight ahead, doing donuts, or otherwise. This is consistent because your foot wasn’t on the gas pedal to begin with, and this is a driving game with no brakes. Strap in buckos, your…


That time Super Mario decided to get a real job

Super Mario, as long as we’ve known him, has been a plumber. Strangely we have rarely seen him engage in any plumbing. Super Mario is simply surrounded by pipes, but we do not see him inquiring about water leaks, fecal blockage, or invoices. Super Mario is more of a career adventurer, a socialite, a close friend to the royals, and the matter of his income would be more confusing if it weren’t for all the coins he picks up. The fact that every 100 coins automatically turns into an extended life suggests Philip K. Dickian elements may be at play…


Tron and its lasting vision of cyberspace

This is a preview of an article you can read on our new website dedicated to virtual reality, Versions. /// Here’s a fair question: How can a bomb from 1982 continue to impact the way we imagine cyberspace? It’s always grids and neon—synths and geometric shapes. When Homer Simpson found himself in this virtual dimension, surrounded by cones, equations, and clip art, he asked if anyone had ever seen the movie Tron. One by one, the residents of Springfield said “No.” Released the same year Disney opened up their futurist edutainment EPCOT park, Tron impressed critics but failed to speak to…


The creator of Persona on life, Japanese culture, and the unconscious

This article is part of a collaboration with iQ by Intel. In the crowded world of Japanese role-playing games (JRPGs), the critically acclaimed Persona series has stood out for a decade and counting. Defying conventions established by other popular franchises like Final Fantasy, the series forgoes the usual swords and sorcery for something closer to home. Using subtle surrealism instead, Persona layers its more fantastical elements with social commentary. Players venture into a strange, shadowy world hidden behind their television screens, where enemies are a unique blend of the psychological and supernatural. “The Persona series addresses problems that people hold deep in their hearts,” said Katsura Hashino, the…

Stephens Sausage Roll

Stephen’s Sausage Roll and the blue collar heroes of puzzledom

I’m a clunky Fisher Price toy on an island made of rough patches. My body, hands, and clothes are probably toxic, blistered and greasy, as I have spent hours pushing and shoving big honkin’ sausages across pipin’ hot grills in taxing and inconvenient ways. I’m not wearing an apron. I am wielding a big fork; a mighty claw that swings in heaves. When raw, these sausages are wormy and pink. Halfway done they look like stogies. Upon being cooked you can smell the continental breakfast through the screen.They are easily the biggest sausages you’ve ever seen in a puzzle game.…