in the park
News

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…

Famicase
News

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…

flt4
News

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…

inventory
News

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…

SODZEN
News

Find peace with Sodzen, a game about watering a plant

I kill nearly every plant I touch, and over the years, I’ve wasted so much money on every plant imaginable in the hopes of finding the one species that can withstand my black thumb. But only now, with Sodzen, have I finally found my perfect plant. Sodzen is a low resolution, highly pixelated game submitted for #LowRezJam by Ottawa-based team SweetHeart Squad, which includes Sean LeBlanc, Ryan Bluth, Emma Thurlow, Cat Wong, Michael Hetman, and Ian Martin. The goal of Sodzen is simple: water the plant. You don’t have to water several plants (there is only a single plant), or…

shadowpuppetgame
News

Shadow of the Red Hand, a game made entirely out of shadow puppets

Created for the latest Ludum Dare game jam, the theme for which was “shapeshift,” Shadow of the Red Hand is a game made entirely out of shadow puppets. In it, the player’s hands take on the role of a rabbit, and must hop away from the evil “Red Hand of Doom” as it chases them through the ever-changing puppet show that they call home. The result is more challenging than the cute children’s-slumber-party motif lets on, with platforms often moving in unpredictable ways due to the many different shapes a hand can take. “Will this one become a fist?” I asked myself while playing.…

Wobble Yoga
News

Hilarious new game gives yoga the QWOP treatment

Released over the weekend as part of the Ludum Dare game jam, Jenny Jiao Hsia’s Wobble Yoga may be the most honest exercise game you’ve ever played. Well, aside from her other yoga game, that is. There’s no fireball-throwing aerobics instructors here, nor are there any claims that you’ll leave the experience healthier than when you came. Rather, all Wobble Yoga has to offer is a challenge, a keyboard, and shame. The game has you taking on the role of a balding, out-of-shape man as he tries to recreate various totally-not-made-up yoga poses by matching up with a silhouette behind…

Chicago to San Francisco train
Feature

Hacking Game Boys and sharing whiskey on the game jam journey across America

There’s something intoxicating about long-distance train journeys. I think it has to do with the fact that, these days, it’s non-standard. It feels detached from the cattle-like experience of air travel: passengers enjoy a luxurious amount of legroom, there are private rooms with bunk beds, closing doors, some coaches even have exclusive toilets and showers. But it’s impossible to deny that it’s also an aging mode of travel. Trains are no longer the fastest way to traverse great distances, and can seem wasteful or frivolous when compared to the speed of flight. Fewer people every year choose to take the…

screensaverjamlede
News

Screensaver jam results in a colorful throwback to the ’90s

You don’t really see screensavers all that often anymore. I know that when my computer enters sleep mode, I just have it set to display a black screen. It’s the same thing for all my friends as well as most offices I’ve visited since turning 13-years-old. Maybe it’s a consequence of our modern habit of leaving our computers on at all times, since if your computer is constantly sitting asleep in the background, having it display a bright or showy screensaver is just distracting. Or maybe it’s because we don’t need screensavers to protect our displays from burn-in images anymore,…