Find your favorite room amid the chaos of The Catacombs of Solaris

A strategy to use when exploring ruins in Dungeons & Dragons is to hug the wall. Have the beefiest party member (preferably a halfling barbarian) lead the way—not necessary, but a warrior knows how to survive. When presented with the option to turn either left or right, pick the latter. Always. The party will always find their way out eventually, even if it takes two hours. With this in mind, I travelled through the ever-changing environment of The Catacombs of Solaris. It’s a “mind-bending” first-person exploration game created by Ian MacLarty in which the goal is to “find your favourite…


Beg for your life in this experimental game about execution

We’re used to the first-person shooter being a series of gunshots executed through bared teeth. Bang, bang, momentarily duck behind cover to heal, bang bang. That’s the usual rhythm. They’re shooting galleries that throw bodies of various intelligence and armor at us to shoot. There’s little thought required from us when playing these videogames beyond whether or not we should reload or hurl a grenade over our head. This is fine. However, there are some shooters that have tried a more reflexive approach to this formula. They throw us into the lion’s den as usual, but when we emerge on the…


Mondrian explores the crossover of a certain Dutch painter and videogame art

All art is, to an extent, the act of throwing your ideas at a canvas and seeing what sticks. In the case of Lantana Games’ Mondrian — Abstraction in Beauty, which is scheduled to launch in August, that description is simply more literal than it is figurative. Mondrian is a classic block breaking game. You operate a gunship and hover around clusters of blocks—sometimes cubes; sometimes octagons—firing shots that explode and reshape the central cluster. The net result of this process is an abstracted image. All of this violence and commotion produces intriguing clumps of colored blocks, some of which…


Artware finds a new home

Sign up to receive each week’s Playlist e-mail here! Also check out our full, interactive Playlist section. TRIP (PC, Mac)  BY AXEL SHOKK Originally released in 2012 without any fanfare, first-person “artware” game TRIP got a second chance recently with its arrival on Steam—a chance that its creator and avant-garde artist Axel Shokk jumped on. This re-release, as it were, has encouraged Shokk to treat TRIP as less of a videogame and more of a “3D art platform” that he plans to regularly update with new virtual art installations. These will arrive as singular worlds accessible from the game’s menu that all offer an abstract experience…


What happens inside this museum stays inside this museum

“I don’t see it,” were the first words out of my mouth, when my mom took me to see the Mona Lisa at the Louvre when I was eight. After days of hype, I felt betrayed by both the tour guide and my own mother. I was promised history, and all I got was a bunch of butts in my face while I tried to jockey for a glimpse at the postcard-sized magnus opus. One of the most defining differences between the virtual museum and the real-world one is that pervasive sense of solitude. Instead of jockeying for a moment…


You can now experience the pure joy of Metamorphabet in your browser

Today’s kids are digital natives; they have been engaging with technology since they were very young. Many studies have been published about the benefits of interactive learning through technology in early childhood. As a result, educators have adjusted their pedagogy to include digital and interactive learning models. Developer Vector Park’s animated alphabet game Metamorphabet is one such tool for interactive learning. We reviewed it upon its iOS release in March, but now it’s available to play in your browser and to purchase for PC and Mac. “an alphabet for all ages”  Metamorphabet describes itself as “an alphabet for all ages.”…