Murakami-inspired adventure game Memoranda gets a release date

How real are our memories? Many of Japanese author Haruki Murakami’s works meditate on this question. We remember the past a certain way, but are those memories true to life? His novels and short stories muse on memory, time, love, and human isolation, with characters put in strange settings that are as strange to the characters as they are to the reader. A cat talks back. A man-sized frog discusses the destruction of Tokyo over tea. Little by little, a woman begins to forget her own name. All of these characters have lost someone or something Actually, that last one…


Karma. Incarnation 1 doesn’t hold back on the psychedelia

In AuraLab’s Karma. Incarnation 1, I’m controlling Pip. Or rather, I’m directing Pip along his journey. Pip is a worm-like creature, but he wasn’t always that way. Once upon a time, he was merely a lost soul. After his lover gets captured by an elusive Unknown Evil, Pip ventures off alone into a surreal world to get her back. But then he’s reincarnated accidentally as a worm, not a dragon as originally planned. And now here we are, Pip and I, bargaining with a dancing creature to trade a flower lei for the snowflake-encrusted light bulb I need that’s hanging on…


Figment will turn dream spaces into an interactive playground

At last, several months after first revealing concept art and screenshots for its dreampunk game Figment, Danish studio Bedtime Digital has more to show. It comes in the form of a three-minute long video, which features not only the game in action for the first time, but also lead designer Jonas Byrresen talking about where the idea for Figment came from. As might be expected, Byrresen reveals that Figment was conceived after the studio looked at what people who played their debut game, Back to Bed (2014), had requested. Specifically, it was the chance to walk around and look at more of…

Diaries of a Spaceport Janitor

Time to take in the trash: Diaries of a Spaceport Janitor is out this week

After nearly two years in the works, Sundae Month’s lo-res sci-fi adventure Diaries of a Spaceport Janitor has a release date; it’s September 16th, and will be available on Steam and Yes, there’s about to be a new trash person in town. As an Alaensee woman with a municipally-subsidized trash collecting job, you’ll take in the trash. Incinerate it. Take in the trash. Incinerate it. Routine is at the heart of Diaries of a Spaceport Janitor, as per the job. But maybe—just maybe—you’ll be able to get off Xabran’s Rock, the place that treats you so terribly, with a little…

Harold Halibut

Harold Halibut’s handmade world is a celebration of vintage animation

Like so many of the best ideas in history, the idea for Harold Halibut came from a dinner table  conversation. Onat Hekimoglu and others were discussing their love of old stop-motion films. Films like Jason and The Argonauts (1963) and The Valley of The Gwangi (1969). Hekimoglu, the lead writer, designer and composer, explained to me that the origins of his upcoming adventure game Harold Halibut are found in those films of the past. In an era before complex computer graphics, these films used stop-motion photography to create large-scale fights with skeletons, or to wow audiences with massive dinosaurs. Now stop-motion…


Creating voice-driven interactive fiction just got a lot easier

Interactive fiction has seen a resurgence in the past few years. From Chris Klimas’s freeware hypertext software Twine, to the visual novel Python engine Ren’Py, branching narrative stories are more popular than ever in videogames. But most interactive fiction games rely on written text, usually through hyperlinking passages or narrative decisions. These stories tend to stay in the digital world, rarely calling on the player to interact with the game outside of using their mouse and keyboard. Amazon’s new program, the Interactive Adventure Game Tool, allows writers and developers around the world to create interactive fiction stories that rely on…

The Room

A videogame tribute to one of the best worst movies of all time

What happens when Johnny goes to work? What happens when he buys the red dress or makes love to his fiancée Lisa? If you’ve ever wanted to know, there is an answer: The Room (2003), the best worst movie of all time, now has an adventure game adaptation. A 2D adventure game, The Room Tribute “is a totally unofficial game made simply out of [an] undying love of the movie.” It follows the course of the movie through the world of Johnny—The Room’s main character, a bank employee who is having problems with the people in his life that he…


Zero Time Dilemma cuts like a knife

Zero Time Dilemma wants to know how it feels to kill someone. To take someone’s life, whether it’s to ensure your own survival, or someone else’s. What it’s like to be driven mad when you end up in a situation like its protagonists—trapped in an underground shelter, where initiating six acquaintances’ deaths is the only hope for freedom. Zero Time Dilemma wants to answer these questions. But the truth of the matter is that it depends on who you are, where you are, and the context of the situation. And, of course, this being the Zero Escape universe, it also…


Today in GIFs: Get a look at Diaries of a Spaceport Janitor’s strange world

It’s been too long since we last checked in on Diaries of a Spaceport Janitor, the game about exploring a grand sci-fi universe through the viewpoint of a lowly municipal worker rather than a more standard space marine hero figure. Since my original post covering the game, the team has been hard at work bringing the backwater trash-planet it takes place on to life, and recently, that work has paid off as a series of new GIFs and screenshots posted to the game’s official Tumblr. Since they give me an excuse to write about this adorable blue collar spin on…