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…

Don't Crawl Gameplay screenshot

A new retro-style platformer lets other players control the monsters

Game jams are filled with sleepless nights. Designers and artists gather for a short period of time, like a weekend, then work non-stop to create something playable in that limited time frame. A game jam is an intense and challenging way to create a game. And yet, it’s how many fantastic videogames are born, like Surgeon Simulator (2013), SUPERHOT, and Nuclear Throne (2015). One of the latest game jam ideas turned retail release is Don’t Crawl, from Nick Belorusov and Vadim Dyachenko “Ideas that spring to mind at 4AM when waking up for a game jam, are rarely truly original,” Belorusov explained when…


Videogame turns job seeking into what it really is: pattern matching

The A Game By Its Cover jam, which finished at the end of July, gave game makers a month to create a game based on of a Famicase game cover. It received 127 entries, some of which were as far off the map as Parachute Pete by grille, Dungeon of Flowers by neilmakesgames, and Secret of Love by nadia—which, by the way, is a “Lesbian based punching simulator.” Among such an eclectic collection of games, Full Time Job, a game about job seeking by Dylan Gallardo, looks decidedly less glamorous. Gallardo takes the mind-numbing task of job seeking and dilutes it…

Parachute Pete

Parachute Pete, a game about destroying planes in the bloodiest way possible

The game jam A Game By Its Cover 2016 is over, leaving behind many interesting and wonderful games. Inspired by fake Famicom game cover art, some of the games got weird, and that’s certainly the case for Parachute Pete. The game is immature in the best way, bringing together the terrifying majesty of a massive military aircraft and the brutality of chopping up bodies with giant engines. In Parachute Pete you control a tiny, weaponless green plane, with the goal of destroying aircraft (bearing a suspiciously familiar face on the tail) that are roughly 500 times larger than yourself. How do…


Embrace your fetish in a videogame about washing a giant foot

Ashi Wash is a ridiculous game with a ridiculous premise—a terrible, funky foot comes crashing through your ceiling. It’s got a serious fungus problem. (I’d suggest crashing into a doctor’s office next time, foot.) Its toenails are overgrown. Also, it can talk. The giant foot makes it pretty clear—in its greasy Brooklyn accent—that you’re to wash it; if you don’t, it’ll “smash ya house up.” Thems the rules, after all. Troy Grooms, Matt Murphy, Alex Zako, and Julian Francis created Ashi Wash during the summer edition of My First Game Jam, held on itch.io. The prompt was to create a…

in the park

A bunch of games just arrived to provide a wider representation of love

The second installment of the International Love Ultimatum game jam (iluJam) has ended, gracing us with a variety of games about love in many shapes and sizes. This year saw a slightly bigger turn out with six more entries than the inaugural jam last year. Although the number of entries may be small, many of them have a big heart. Amanda Cosmos, the organizer of iluJam, was originally inspired by the Pulse-Pounding, Heart-Stopping Dating Sim Jam (PPHSDSJ). She wanted to participate, but when no follow-up event happened, she got the organizer’s blessing to put on a similar game jam herself. While…


The greatest Famicom-based game jam returns this week

What do you get when you combine the world of fake Famicom case cover art and game jams? The “A Game By Its Cover” jam, actually, which is making its triumphant return on June 30th. Being the Japanese precursor to the NES, the distinctive red-and-white Famicom has a great deal of nostalgic power over people who grew up in the early 80s—even if it doesn’t closely resemble the American, VCR-looking version of the console. The A Game By Its Cover Jam sorta banks on that. It encourages game makers to spend a month creating games based on faux Famicom cover fan…


Adventure game is made out of actual Renaissance-era artwork

Four Last Things is the type of game I want to leave open on the title screen for hours, just to stare at and appreciate. But that would be the sin of sloth, friend. Still… Alright, alright, I’ll move on. Created in two weeks for Game Jolt’s adventure game game jam #advjam2016, Four Last Things is a Renaissance-era adventure game made using actual Renaissance era artwork. a museum art tour in game format The premise is simple: you’re an old man at the end of his life, and you’ve just finished a pilgrimage to a distant church to confess your…


Test your inventory management skills in a new puzzle game

Inventory management is a tedious part of videogames. I’ve never found myself daydreaming of the minuscule inventory in Resident Evil (1996) (though I do remember that opting for playing as Jill netted you two more slots). Nor have I ever found myself enjoying the meticulous disposal of items over-encumbering Geralt of The Witcher 3 (2015). Even with the largest saddlebags hanging onto my dear steed Roach in that game, I often had to spend minutes at a time digging through and tossing out the most unnecessary junk to make room for something new and shiny. And in Witcher 3-time those minutes eventually became hours…