Angsty adventure game Night in the Woods released after several delays

A little over a week ago, the indie-favorite 2D game Night in the Woods released after nearly four years in development and several delays. Night in the Woods focuses on narrative, telling the story of recent college drop out Mae after returning to her old coal-mining town of Possum Springs. All is not well in the Rust Belt state, as creepy supernatural happenings intermingle with economic strife. You meander through the town and get to know the many personalities that populate it throughout this 10 hour experience. Originally slated for fall of 2016, then January of 2017, then finally released on February…

Walkie Talkie

An online chatroom isn’t where you’d expect to find a platformer

Sign up to receive each week’s Playlist e-mail here! Also check out our full, interactive Playlist section. Walkie Talkie (Windows) BY DANIEL LINSSEN Daniel Linssen must see platformers everywhere. He’s already made one inside a computer interface and one that works in tandem with a separate game. Now he’s made a platformer inside an online chatroom. It also doubles up as one of the most easy-to-use level creators ever conceived. Called Walkie Talkie, the game is a fully-functioning online chatroom where people can talk to each other by typing into a box. You can scroll through the entire conversation and, at…


Balthazar’s Dream reveals what good boys dream of, and it’s ruff

A soft whimper causes you to look up from your work. It’s your dog, who is sleeping peacefully in bed. Is she dreaming? Her legs twitch slightly. Maybe she’s running around in a field, chasing a squirrel. She’s too old to do that now, but you like to think that the tiny mammal stood no chance in the dreamscape. “Wow.” You think to yourself. “She’s doing such a great job laying there.” You rouse yourself from the couch and tiptoe over to the sleeping dog and carefully drop to your knees and place your face mere inches from her nose.…


Introducing DISTANT, a game about saving dreamscapes from destruction

Many words can be used to describe last year’s endless snowboarding game Alto’s Adventure, but the one that stands out for me is flow. This encompassed the curves and angles of its snowdrifts, its wordless storytelling, and how smoothly it reset you to the top of its mountain once you fell. It was a game in harmony with itself, perfecting the loop that most mobile games aim to persuade their players to get caught up in, but giving you beautiful Peruvian horizons to admire rather than stooping to tiring exchanges of virtual currency and statistics. I was delighted, then, when Ryan Cash…


New platformer wants you to know the environment is screwed

Sign up to receive each week’s Playlist e-mail here! Also check out our full, interactive Playlist section. Even the Ocean (Windows, Mac) BY ANALGESIC PRODUCTIONS Even the Ocean is a warning. It’s a game that wants to raise awareness of the human impact on the environment and for its players to spread its message. Its fictional world needs to be balanced by light and dark energies, and due to an imbalance brought about by power-hungry politicians, that world is accelerating towards its end. You play a power plant engineer who is tasked with trying to restore the balance and hopefully saving the world.…


Visual Out asks you to embrace the glitches of a dying computer

“They deserted us. You’re all that’s left.” These are the words that echo through Visual Out, a Metroid-like platformer set inside the guts of a broken down, dying computer. Created by Ohio-based game maker MadameBerry, Visual Out has you play as an escaped program tasked with exploring different sections of the machine in hopes of finding out the secrets of your creator’s demise. As the program, you can gain unique abilities and upgrades that will aide in exploration. You can manipulate the environment around you by controlling the flow of power, and roam around a mix of mechanical and digital landscapes, rendered with…

Even the Ocean

Even the Ocean wants you to find balance in life, out next week

One of the hardest things to achieve in life is balance, yet it is utterly essential. A balanced diet, a balanced economy, a balanced environment—these are all things that we, as a species, know that we should strive towards. It’s what Even the Ocean is all about—a narrative platformer that will be coming out on November 16th—taking the idea of balance to every layer of its design. At the heart of Even the Ocean is the concept of Light and Dark energies as found throughout its world and systems. Aliph, a power plant technician and the game’s protagonist, must balance…


Barnaque’s next game is about the burden of being hopeful

Barnaque is one of the most interesting freeware game studios to have emerged in the past few years. Comprised of the Montreal-based duo David Martin and Émeric Morin, Barnaque has made games that are often described as “batshit crazy” and “psychedelic,” mostly because the pair want to mess with players through game form, art, and mechanics. “What we’ve been trying to do since the beginning of Barnaque is to mess with people’s expectations by establishing patterns and breaking them,” the pair told me over email. “Infini is our strongest attempt at this.” Infini is the pair’s next game and it will…


“Cuba’s first indie game” wants to be much more than that

Videogames haven’t been kind to Cuba. In 1996, A-10 Cuba! had players decimating Cuban military defenses from an aircraft; the following year saw GoldenEye 007 on the Nintendo 64 depict Cuba as a hostile jungle full of source-less bullets; it didn’t even let up in 2010, with the arrival of Call of Duty: Black Ops, which had players hunt down Fidel Castro during the Bay of Pigs Invasion and fail due to his deception. This is no surprise given that a lot of videogames are made by the United States and its allies. Since the Cold War and the rise of Castro, relations…