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The Games of Los Angeles

Our upcoming print reinvention is going to zero in on the creators we love and their current projects. Three of our favorite upcoming games are from independent Los Angeles-based developers doing exciting, diverse work that nonetheless shares strong aesthetic vision full of pixels, pastels, and bold geometry. They take inspiration from LA’s cinematic history, its geography, and their local hangouts in ways both obvious—the heist hijinks of Quadrilateral Cowboy—and subtle—the way that LA’s growth has erased much of its history inspired Donut County. You can look for more in-depth looks at the developers when our magazine launches next year. Hyper…

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Hyper Light Drifter gets a pretty, new trailer and (finally!) a release date

Hyper Light Drifter, like Rain World and a few others, seems like one of those games that exists only in shiny gifs on Twitter, so it comes as massively exciting news that Heart Machine’s mesmerizing action RPG finally has a release date. That’s right! Hyper Light Drifter comes out Spring 2016 and there’s even a new trailer to gawk at. Heart Machine launched a Kickstarter campaign for Hyper Light Drifter in September 2013. One trailer and a few gifs later, and Hyper Light Drifter spawned loads of games bearing its same bright, triangular art style and distinct approach to pixel…

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Rain World explodes with more slugcat .gifs

Rain World is part of an explosion over the past few years of games that express, through their pixel art, a very personal sort of fantasy. Along with Hyper Light Drifter, Witchmarsh, The Deer God, and Titan Souls, it sees pixel art not as cute but as ready for subversion, and an excuse to lavishly animate the living shit out of all on-screen characters. All of which does not mean that Rain World isn’t still also very cute, because: it is. I mean, these slugcats are pretty much made to be turned into plush dolls, which is good, because they…

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A few of you lucky souls will spend this weekend playing Hyper Light Drifter

Heart Machine have announced that their ultra-pretty, color-filled apocalypse Hyper Light Drifter will be getting a preview release this weekend. Kickstarter backers will find a Steam code in their inboxes this Friday, and it’ll work until Sunday at midnight.  In a helpful bit of semantics, they’re pointedly not calling this a beta release. “Beta isn’t exactly the right term,” they note. “Some game features are locked, some have been hidden, others are being refined, and content is always being generated for the world.” While the decision to release the game at all at this point is ultimately just a financial one,…

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This looks like Hyper Light Drifter but darker; here’s hoping it comes out

In the year 20XX, in a TIGSource devlog… Irkalla. It’s a side-scrolling arcade shooter that has the pixel-y charm of Hyper Light Drifter (or your personal favorite upcoming GIF-machine), and all the bleak, gunmetal-grey mech-strewn wastelands you can ask for. Yeah, the pored-over, long-gestating pixel art GIF-game is kind of a trend right now, but there’s pixel art and then there’s pixel art, y’know? And this two-man project looks to be the latter. The devs even promise to keep their narrative ambitions in check and “just focus on a funny gameplay, heavy atmosphere and stylized pixel art.” Two out of…

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Let’s gawk at Hyper Light Drifter’s preposterously hot pixel art

We already knew action-role-player Hyper Light Drifter was easy on the eyes. That was a done deal. But this new trailer really hammers the point home.  In case you missed the Kickstarter campaign that blew up last year, this gorgeous showpiece of pixel art is also a game, and judging from the footage of slashing and gunning we see here, a fine one. It follows a teleporting crusader tailed by an amicable drone through an advanced society collapsing in the ruin of mutant fossils, e-waste, and genetically engineered bio-freaks in incubators. Obvious differences aside, it’s kinda giving me a Secret…