High Scores 2016

High Scores: The Best Videogames of 2016 – 16 to 13

This is part of Kill Screen’s list of the best videogames of 2016. To see the rest of the list, check out all the other parts. /// 16. Abzû Abzû is an underwater opera about the precious cadence of ecosystems. Its ocean world feels like a fantasy as you swim downstream with dolphins and weave between the tropical leaves of aquatic plants. But for the most part it is not. The game only takes what beauty already exists (or once did) in the seas and attaches a full-blown orchestra to it. In a year when scientists have announced the human impact…

VA-11 Hall-A

Play a day in the life of a dystopian bartender

Sign up to receive each week’s Playlist e-mail here! Also check out our full, interactive Playlist section. VA-11 Hall-A (Windows, Mac, Linux) BY SUKEBAN GAMES If you want to get to know the character of a city quickly, check out its bar scene. There, you’ll find all the community’s hopes and issues under the same roof, sharing a stiff drink. That’s the idea behind VA-11 Hall-A, a dystopian “drink-em-up” where players serve the bar regulars and listen to their personal stories. By developing relationships with your patrons, you learn about the everyday struggles of a consumerist surveillance state. While light on mechanics, VA-11 Hall-A allows you to…


VA-11 Hall-A is how you do modern cyberpunk

“Time to mix drinks and save lives.” Jill lackadaisically jazzes herself up with this line at the start of every shift, unknowing of just who will waltz through the door. But what I soon find out is that Jill is kinda lost. The 27-year-old bartender resides in a run-down apartment, barely scraping by when it comes to bills, rent, and impulsive buys, like cute posters or a plant. Jill is lost in the same way that her regulars—patrons of the dive bar VA-11 Hall-A (colloquially called “Valhalla”)—are lost. She’s caught within an average life, with the only fulfillment she gets…


Get ready to play as a cyberpunk bartender later this month

“This is a story about people daring to survive,” reads a title card in the latest and final trailer for VA-11 Hall-A, which could be considered an odd description for a cyberpunk bartending game. Called VA-11 Hall-A, it was originally borne of a cyberpunk game jam in 2014. A couple years, a prototype, and a free prologue chapter later, VA-11 Hall-A is finally on its way to existing on our one-day sentient PCs (for Windows, Mac, and Linux) on June 21st, with PlayStation Vita and iPad versions coming sometime later this year. The titular bar in VA-11 Hall-A—affectionately called Valhalla by its patrons—reflects…


Cyberpunk Game Jam yields rad cyberpunk games; here are our favs

Last month’s Cyberpunk Game Jam has yielded enough interesting, colorful, diverse games to make Molly Millions do that gross thing where she cries through her mouth. With ten days to work, many devs came out the other side with impressively realized games. A few suggestions: first, prolific jammer/musician Rezoner’s Limbs, which has a pretty specific logline: “cyberpunk Papers, Please.” Unlike Lucas Pope’s ethics-erosion simulator, though, Limbs (pictured above) is all about aesthetic pleasure: the star-dotted navy-blue sky outside your cluttered workbench, the slight stickiness—just a little resistance—of synthetic skin as you pull it away from its transistor-and-chip innards, and, of course, the endlessly looping…