Game Boy-style visuals are too good at being creepy

The Game Boy is an icon of ’90s innocence. It’s a kid playing Tetris (1984) while sprawled across their bed. Or a bunch of kids trading Pokémon (1996) in the sun with a Game Link Cable. Nintendo’s original grey handheld is not typically a vessel for horror. But you try telling that to the people who participated in the fifth Game Boy Jam earlier this month. The challenge of the GBJam is to create a game with the small resolution and limited 4-color palette of the original Game Boy. That means there’s a bunch of green-and-black games ready for playing right now. Most are…


New frantic game is basically Devil Daggers in space

There are particular games that can only exist within the confines of the technological limitations of the time they were created. Missile Command (1980) feels anxious in its simplicity: the silence of surrounding the explosions of the missiles reminds you that, eventually, no matter how hard you try, all the cities you are attempting to save will be destroyed. On the other hand, the 2007 Xbox 360 remake of Missile Command added techno music and other small tweaks that, together, deeply obscure the Cold War-era fear of the original. the anxiety heightened by its use of Game Boy graphics An entry into…


One More Night will have you reliving your teenaged summer regrets

The annual “song of the summer” competition is bullshit. Like summer movie season, which has taken over much of the calendar year over the course of Marvel’s latest phase, the song of the summer is a temporally inaccurate designation. But even if the song of the summer only made its presence felt during three months of the year, it would still be a bad idea. When you’re young, summer is its own world, encompassing a variety of distinct moods. There’s the exhilarating sense of freedom of early summer days, which give way to the boring doldrums of mid-summer, and finally…


SteamBoy, the illegitimate lovechild of Steam and a Game Boy

While we were in our post-E3 stupor, a dev group went and announced a rather miraculous handheld system that plays Steam games. Due out in 2015, the SteamBoy, as the portmanteau suggests, combines the awesome library of Valve’s popular digital download platform with the play-it-anywhere-ability of a Game Boy. This sounds a little hard to believe considering that a powerful gaming PC would have to be shrunk down to fit in the palms of your hands, but apparently this can be done, to an extent.  You’re probably thinking that DOTA 2 would surely be terrible on a modified Steam Controller…


Embarrassing photos of what the future of games looked like in 1991

If you would have told my 11-year old self that, in the future, we wouldn’t actually all be playing games with big, dorky helmets that used voice-commands to fire eye-lasers and wearing Game Boy fanny packs, my reaction would have been an enthusiastic: Aw, man! I mean, the future of games looked so promising and awesome in this 1991 issue of Omni magazine, which also positioned the Power Glove, the Neo-Geo, and the chin-controller as the next big things. We saw how those worked out. But at least we can remember the future the way it was supposed to be…