Looking at a planetset

Moblets will let you catch creatures way cuter than Pokémon

You may have seen Rebecca Cordingley’s adorable videogame Moblets on Twitter. She’s got quite the following on there, with eager fans clamoring for more glimpses of the game, which she describes as a mixture of Harvest Moon (1996) and Pokémon. Twitter is Cordingley’s main form of marketing for Moblets, and it seems to be working: “I think people are interested in being a part of the development process and I love getting their feedback and encouragement,” she said. Veering away from the Pokémon-esque design, Moblets is more of a team-driven videogame. After all, “mob” is in the game’s name. “The name…


Inside The Void explores isolation horror on an alien planet

Inside The Void evokes a similar sense of isolation horror as Solaris (1972) or Event Horizon (1997). Both films place their protagonists on rescue missions; neither of which sound all too promising for the rescue crew—and both of which quickly descend into a series of mysteries and hallucinations. Several crews of researchers have already been dispatched to Inside The Void’s remote alien planet. All have gone missing, though they’ve left little notes—log entries—on their findings. Many of them are grim; they speak of being transported to endless voids through seven alien structures on the planet, of unsuccessful attempts to reach the structures’ cores. Besides looking at occasional…


Iconic movie moments turned into gorgeous low-poly scenes

Brazilian artist Bruno Alberto is a man on a mission: take every movie you loved from your childhood, pick a scene from it, and turn it into a gorgeous low-poly animated diorama. So far, Alberto has only shared four on his LowPolyScenes Facebook page, but boy, they are a good four. Let’s start with his rendering of Free Willy (1994), which obviously depicts the scene where a henchman eats popcorn evil-y… OK, I may be lying. What other scene would you pick from this movie aside from the one where Willy, as promised, finally goes free? It’s a bit sped up, but everything…


Today in GIFs: Get a look at Diaries of a Spaceport Janitor’s strange world

It’s been too long since we last checked in on Diaries of a Spaceport Janitor, the game about exploring a grand sci-fi universe through the viewpoint of a lowly municipal worker rather than a more standard space marine hero figure. Since my original post covering the game, the team has been hard at work bringing the backwater trash-planet it takes place on to life, and recently, that work has paid off as a series of new GIFs and screenshots posted to the game’s official Tumblr. Since they give me an excuse to write about this adorable blue collar spin on…


Absolver is the low-poly, God Hand-inspired brawler of your dreams

It’s tempting to describe Absolver with an endless stream of references to other games—big ones, the type for which you see cardboard cutouts at GameStop. It’s an online multiplayer game riffing on the model of Destiny (2014) or Dark Souls (2011)—not, they clarify, an MMO—with players both friendly and unfriendly roaming a semi-open world. The elegantly low-poly world has the feel of a somber The Witness, and its tight, frame-specific combat recalls the brawlers of Platinum Games.  But that laundry list sells it short. Tucked back in an Airstream trailer, far enough from the Los Angeles Convention Center to allow me to…


Live the life of a lonely introvert in a hikikimori simulator

The blinds are drawn. A tiny sliver of light manages to brighten up the room, casting a jagged shadow against the wall that trickles down the length of your bed. A brightly colored poster and several polaroids decorate the walls. A casual guitar riff plays softly in the background, accompanied by the sound of the outside world—traffic and pedestrians. This is the beginning of Hikikimori Simulator (alternatively named Solitude), a “five minute experience” by Alexandre Ignatov. “Hikikimori” is a Japanese term that refers to (usually male) reclusive adults/adolescents who pull away from social interactions. You play as a man who…


Aer’s beautiful skyworld gets even more inviting in its latest trailer

Last time we saw cubist flying game Aer, its bird girl protagonist Auk was left quivering, alone and scared, in a distant ruin. She had just been threatened by a large monster, one she had met before, only soon afterward finding herself surrounded by ominous blue spirits as an ethereal crescendo swelled up around her. As the game’s newest trailer resumes her journey, however, this unsettling tone is set aside, instead introducing us to the friendlier side of the game’s world. When the trailer opens, we briefly find Auk in what appears to be the same temple as last time, praying to a…


Consume Me to be a cute, harrowing game about extreme dieting

Overzealous dieting is a rite of passage for people of all ages and genders. You stare in the mirror and wish you didn’t have that extra flab of fat. Later turning to the realms of Internet-aided food over-management and hellish exercise routines to (hopefully) fix yourself up and return to the slenderness of your metabolism-enabled childhood. Diet balancing can either be a positive force of getting your health back on track, or, in most cases, an obsessive, terrifying one that risks becoming an eating disorder. Striking a balance between eating healthy and being happy with your body is extremely difficult,…


The Ballet game Bound is already sashaying into our hearts

There is a certain ballet to game design. Perhaps not in the visual sense, but in the dedication—the blood, sweat, and tears it takes to pull off even a simple movement. Like a game designer, a ballerina must work night and day, while knowing every aspect of what goes into the beauty of her art, both inside and out. From the high level concepts to the granular, from the emotion of the piece to the soles of the shoes that help her execute it. A ballerina must make a world erupt from the rigid structure of her body, creating by pushing the natural limitations of her canvas. Just…