New visual novel should satisfy your lo-fi cyberpunk dreams

New York City has a clichéd nickname: The City that Never Sleeps, referring to the restlessness of nightlife in the city. Similar is the metropolis in the newly released Cyber City 2157: The Visual Novel, as it also never sleeps. But that’s because the sun never sets. Night never comes to toss its dark cloak over the city. The City (capitalized, as it is a character in itself) remains bright, shining, always ready to adventure—it doesn’t sleep because it doesn’t get a chance to. And you, the player, are tasked with navigating all its parks, suburbs, cemeteries, and even dreams. Created…


ANATOMY is a masterpiece of cassette tape horror

The scariest part of The Exorcist (1973) for me wasn’t all the bedroom acrobatics and green puke, it was a much subtler scene. In it, Father Karras sits before large spinning reels as they playback the recorded voice of possessed 12-year-old Reagan MacNeil, all of it incomprehensible gurgled groans and anguished, hoarse throatiness. Karras wants to know what language it is and the guy who’s assisting him has the answer: “It’s a language alright.” He pauses. “It’s English.” Turns out Reagan was speaking English in reverse. It then cuts to Karras later that night, lit by the low light of…


Knossu finds the horror in non-euclidean architecture

Knossu‘s wall textures sizzle as if they’ve been half-cooked on a frying pan. It’s like someone went nuts with the spray paint tool in Microsoft Paint and the most garish colors they could find. Have you ever bitten into something that was way too sour? Imagine that vigorous and unbearable taste carved into blocks; that’s what I’m staring at. On top of that, each pixel in these walls fidgets intensely as I move around and it makes me immediately uncomfortable. The impression is that I’m being stalked by something overbearing and encompassing.  This is bold opening up with a description…


Do not stop and do not think while playing Strawberry Cubes

Sign up to receive each week’s Playlist e-mail here! Also check out our full, interactive Playlist section. STRAWBERRY CUBES (PC)  BY LOREN SCHMIDT  Strawberry Cubes is a platformer that gives you a toolset instead of a jump button. You already know too much. For this is a game that works by keeping everything secret and telling you nothing. It’s about navigating a lo-fi living maze comprised of broken memories located around your grandma’s house. But none of this makes sense. Nothing does. The only way to progress is to ask: what does this do? And then trying it out. You must…


Be intimidated by this lo-fi computer-programming game, or discover its secrets

Several lines of command-line text fade into the left side of your monitor. The sounds of primitive processor clicking and ancient operating system chimes remind you of the birth of the PC. The opposite of the clean and intuitive UI designs that we’ve all grown accustomed to jumps out at you, in an array of light gray modules and text. You think: “What the hell?” you are essentially teaching yourself how to program  You scratch your head a bit and squint as you turn to the reference manual. The first line reads, “The Tessellated Intelligence System is a massively parallel…


Sub Rosa wants you to be the worst person you could possibly be

Cryptic Sea’s upcoming shooter is described by the developers as “about tense deals, double-crosses and car chases.” Car chases and gunplay have been done to death, but what’s this about double-crossing? Less of a shooter and more of a corporate warfare simulator, the game encourages you to be an all-around douchebag, backstabbing both players from other corporations as well as your friends in the pursuit of cash money, suits and flashy cars. You’re able to set up a deal and do something like a simple empty briefcase scam, start a low-poly firefight, and once the lead stops flying, collect the…