Lone Light

Lone Light teases out the complex symbiosis of light and shadow

Hessamoddin Sharifpour’s upcoming game Lone Light draws its puzzles from the timeless dance between light and shadow, telling the story of a lone light finding its way through the cosmos. Sharifpour is an Iranian programmer living in Toronto; come September, he’ll be attending the University of Toronto to study computer science. At 19, he is already the recipient of two awards—Best Idea and Jury’s Special Choice—from the 2014 Iranian Indie Game Developers Festival, as well as nominations for Best Indie Game of the Year and Best Design. there will also be hints of evolving cosmologies This early recognition for his…

Don't Kill Her

Don’t Kill Her turns murder mystery into a hand-drawn delight

Call him Wuthrer, call him Wuthrer Cuany—call him any name you like. Just don’t call him conventional or compromising. The Swiss artist’s latest project, Don’t Kill Her, is an ostensibly two-dimensional adventure game drawn entirely in pencil. The title is up for vote on Steam Greenlight and is currently seeking funds on Indiegogo. Driven by a central murder mystery in which the player character is said to be the killer, an unnamed victim narrates the dreamlike story as you make your way through Wuthrer’s sketchbook-esque world. While the artist is coy on specifics (“Don’t judge a game by its cover,” his website urges), there’s plenty to admire on the surface.…


Therefore promises "interactive philosophy," dreamy pixel art

What’s initially so captivating about Therefore is how the music and art style blends together. Composer Sergio Cuesta’s incidental piano score plays with atonality in a way that’s reminiscent of the impressionist compositions of Claude Debussy, or Erik Satie: simple and pretty, but slightly haunting. It’s a dynamic that plays into the game’s serene, meditative mood, even when surrounded by austere environments and muted colors. a puzzle game that’s eerily evocative  In Therefore, you guide a character called The Wanderer through a land called The First Realm as you try to uncover the forces undermining your continued existence. The game supposedly operates…


Papetura offers a delightful world of animated paper

Papetura sure is made out of paper. In the game’s opening shot alone there are sheets of it: curled into pulsing fingers like ocean waves or quilted grass, twee spiraling silhouettes proffering the shape of local flora. Devoid of every color but white, and with only these paper shapes suggesting the environment, it’s difficult to say exactly where Pape and Tura have awoken. Only one thing is for sure, and that is they’re not comfortable there, given that they’re both sporting frowns. Pape wears a trim paper fringe and a rear-turning swirl for a haircut; all made from paper, of…


Bohemian Killing explores our muddy legal systems

I sat in court as a member of the jury this past summer and found it disappointing. I’d been spoiled by the dramatized murder trials and the heart-tugging sociopolitical conflicts in the fictional courtrooms of 12 Angry Men, To Kill A Mockingbird, and A Few Good Men. The verdicts were obvious, there was no shouting or revelatory speeches to be made, no drama; one of the defendants failed to turn up, and so was judged entirely on the prosecutor’s argument, sentenced in less than 10 minutes. It wasn’t until I had spent those two weeks in and out of court…


Help these students create a real-life mecha (sort of)

Like any normal person, I think about piloting a giant robot a lot. I’ve seen Pacific Rim… more than a few times. Titanfall helped me to do that too and for the privilege, I am grateful. However, the University of Minnesota’s Video Game Development Club has something a little more ambitious. Their 62-person membership is looking for funding for their “Mecha Simulator Arcade Machine”, a project grander than even the 2002 mecha simulator Steel Battalion. Whereas Steel Battalion just sold you the massive and intricate controller, the Mecha Simulator aims to be a self contained robot piloting pod. Based on…


The sci-fi thriller Caffeine looks horrifying, unlike actual caffeine, which is great

As I’m writing this I am running on caffeine the same way that a Hummer H1 “runs” on gasoline. Caffeine to me is this beautiful substance that lets me be a writer. So when I heard the words “support Caffeine on Indiegogo” I am totally into it. Australian game developer Dylan Browne, on the other hand, must have had a bad experience with caffeine. Browne’s Caffeine is a sci-fi horror game where you play a young boy who wakes up alone on a caffeine mining space station. Being alone on a space station would certainly drive me from “alert” to…