Told No One

Secrets sit behind the devilish sound puzzles of Told No One

“You told no one, right?” This is the language we use when speaking of secrets. Something was found out and it must be kept as unknown as possible. It’s telling that Karachi-based artist NAWKSH uses these words to title his videogame Told No One. For it seems to be a tightly woven secret itself. It’s hiding something, perhaps many things, beyond the arcane rituals it tests you with. From the outside, Told No One seems simple enough. The description reads: “five short sound puzzles / interactive experiments in greyscale.” Sounds quite pleasant. But once you head inside it’s immediately clear that…

Waiting in the Sky

Waiting in the Sky recreates a universal childhood experience

I don’t remember many of the places I was taken to between the ages of two to 10, but there is a sort of coalesced impression I have of the many backseats windows I saw the world through. That window is always safety-locked, for one, and won’t roll down past half-way. Usually, it’s raining outside, and I’ve sketched out little monsters in the condensation. Waiting in the Sky puts you in a similar backseat, the one from all your childhood memories. Instead of doodling on the fogged-over glass, you’re making constellations out of the stars. The celestial bodies are randomly…

Polygonal Planet

Create the prettiest planets then watch them spin in your browser

I’ve just done us all a favor. Sure, the North Pole is heating up, the ice caps are rapidly melting. But chill out, the globe spinning in front of me right now, on my monitor, is miles thick in solid ice. Try melting that global warming. Admittedly, I was a little overzealous in my ostensible goal of saving the world. There is no inhabitable land or water left on this planet—at least not for humans and most creatures—only centuries of thick frozen ice to slip around on. That said, humans are probably the worst thing that’s ever happened to Earth, so…

Simulating the World

The world’s most complex problems, now in emoji

Step into the bustling streets of Grand Theft Auto 5’s Los Santos, or one of the many sun-dappled, monster-rich forests in The Witcher 3. These worlds are so fully realized, and at their best so compellingly true-to-life, that it’s easy to forget that all games, when stripped of the bells and whistles, are only systems operating on a specific set of rules. But more than just games run on complex systems of interaction, and Nicky Case has made this point before. You might remember Case’s previous project Parable of the Polygons, the cute bit of interactive sociology about geometry and…

Le Petit Architecte

Celebrate Swiss architect Le Corbusier by defacing one of his masterpieces

What better way to celebrate it being 50 years since influential Swiss architect Le Corbusier’s death than redesigning his famous Villa Savoye? Oh, not actually, of course. We couldn’t possibly bear to spoil what is considered by many to be one of the keystones of modern architecture (and also an official French historical monument). We’re talking videogames here. Yes, it’s their easily-reset worlds that allow us to enjoy reckless fantasies without consequence (usually), so why not employ them to deface a prestigious villa that sits on the edge of Paris? This is the concept of a new project by Greek-born Theo Triantafyllidis, who…


Speak Up, Off-Peak

Everybody’s Gone to the Rapture. Mad Max. Fallout 4. Star Wars Battlefront. In a year of stunning videogame landscapes—or at least landscapes that are mildly pleasing, so long as you enjoy dull, pretty pictures—Off-Peak, by Cosmo D, is exceptional. Its train station cum art gallery is an evocation of art versus functionality, of a world and an industry where talented creators are trained to become commodities. Musicians are gathered here. Artwork and posters adorn the walls. Above you hangs a life size sculpture of a blue whale. Around you, people of all shapes, sizes and skin colours sip coffee and…


Voi wants to play architectural peek-a-boo with you

I like it when videogames play peek-a-boo with me. Yes, please, treat me like a toddler. I mean it. I am not yet beyond the delight of a magic trick; a spatial sleight-of-hand. And Voi has enough of them to warrant your curiosity. This is a game in which I spent a good five minutes going back-and-forth, side-to-side, reliving the couple seconds of the gif below in my own time, free from the never-ending repetition of the gif’s structure. First you see a lengthy hallway, next you see a black void where nothing could ever exist. Where did the hallway go?…

Orchids to Dusk

Orchids to Dusk lets you find a quiet place to die

Be warned: This article spoils all the surprise of Orchids to Dusk that is so crucial to the first-time experience, so it’s best played before reading. /// The fallen astronaut in Orchids to Dusk is not eager for adventure. You can see this in their hands, which are timidly held together, head shyly dipped towards them to create a tight prism of safety. It’s a pose familiar to shut-ins and the timorous. How it came to be that this person got as far as becoming an astronaut without the necessary confidence is unknown. Nor does it matter. Everything is ending now. Typically, this…

Call of Dudley

Pick up the strangest call of your life in this videogame labyrinth

You come to, upright, in the middle of a room swirling with color. Quickly, you realize the stripped wallpaper isn’t actually moving. It’s you, swiveling your head around, trying to figure out where and who you are—how you got to this ugly room in the first place. The neon walls overwhelm, but not nearly as much as the number of doors surrounding you. Uncertain but too afraid to stand still in this ugly room, you walk through a door. But in this place, you will discover, only ugly rooms lie beyond the doors that lead into even more ugly rooms. In…