Surprise yourself by learning an alien language in Sethian

Sethian is a game that positions you as an archaeologist of the future tasked with learning an alien language. You do this so you can investigate the disappearances of people on the planet Sethian—where the language originates. Learning a whole other language might sound pretty imposing, but the creator of Sethian, Grant Kuning, has done a pretty bang-up job of making the game fairly accessible. You sit in front of an alien computer, able to ask it questions to help with your study, starting with only the basics of the language as picked up by previous archaeologists. This is provided to…


Author in the machine: An XCOM 2 Review

Vigilo Confido goes the motto of the titular fighting force in Firaxis Studio’s excellent XCOM 2. To any English speaker, even one without any specialized knowledge of Latin, the meaning of the motto appears self-evident. Vigilo—vigil, vigilance, or something to that effect—and confido—obviously, confidence. Or . . . wait, is it confidential? In fact, the Latin is intensely and conspicuously ambiguous. Depending on whether or not those final “o”’s are read as nonal case endings or verb conjugations (to say nothing of the tense), defensible translations of Vigilo Confido include everything from “I Am Watchful; I Am Relied Upon” to…


Alien abduction game To Azimuth returns with an eerie new trailer

To Azimuth, an upcoming adventure game that failed to secure Kickstarter funding during a campaign in 2014, is back with a new announcement trailer. Described as a “Lynchian alien abduction investigation,” the game tells a story about alien abductions and, more importantly, the people who experience them. Like Lynch’s Twin Peaks, To Azimuth is built around a small town and a central mystery: What has happened to Eli Windham? As a Vietnam veteran and recovering addict, when Eli disappears from his town of Musgrove, Alabama, police assume he’s fallen off the wagon and nobody goes looking for him. Hence, the…

Joy Exhibition

Try to communicate with an alien race through abstract art

With Joy Exhibition, the enigmatic Manchester-based game artist Strangethink inverts the role he gave us in Secret Habitat. Once again, the virtual space is an art gallery, but this time we are the exhibiting artist and not the visitor. That said, we do seem to be a visitor of some kind, perhaps to a distant world, as all the people inside this enclosed art gallery are aliens. It is to these slow-walking mutes that we are told to “communicate” through our art. You do this by making use of the 10 blank canvases and the many paint guns the art gallery…


Let The Endless Cylinder roll over you with its gorgeously surreal alienscape

Until now, Carlos Bordeu has only been known as the ‘C’ in ACE Team. He’s about to become much more. No longer will he be the letter squished between his brothers Andres and Edmundo in the title of the Chilean videogame studio they founded together. Carlos has revealed that he’s working on a personal project called The Endless Cylinder and it has all the qualities of a surrealist sci-fi painting, except it invites you to dive in and look around—there’s just one caveat: please don’t trip over your trunk.  All that is known about The Endless Cylinder at the moment is…


Tune into this psychedelic wonderland and never want to leave

Sign up to receive each week’s Playlist e-mail here! Also check out our full, interactive Playlist section. GARDENARIUM (Windows, Mac, Linux)  BY PALOMA DAWKINS AND KYLER KELLY People have wondered about the potential healing properties of psychedelics ever since Timothy Leary tried curing alcoholics by giving them acid in the ’60s. To some, trippy drug-induced visuals are just hippie nonsense. To others, they’re an invitation to embark on a journey of weirdness and self-discovery. Gardenarium presumes the latter, presenting you with a twirling, swirling world that unfurls as you pass, like a blooming flower on MDMA. Tasked with reaching the summit of a psychedelic mountain,…