The Monster Inside Me

Find out how terrible you are in The Monster Inside Me

Ana and Jakob are hunched over and bickering by the fire, as usual. You try and ignore them and throw some crumpled up newspaper into the pit. The fire laps up the paper, hungry for more. As you stare into the flames, their arguing becomes harder to to tune out. Everyone is tired and hungry and stressed. It was a miracle you found this place untouched and managed to keep it fortified to ward off the curious. Just as you were about to shout at your friends, a scream is heard from outside. The three of you freeze. “What was…

Explojan Horse

Just what the Trojan War needed: a huge, explosive gun

The Trojan War is a comedy and a tragedy, a series of deaths that history will remember by its errors rather its feats. When they teach the Trojan War, they talk about a beautiful woman whose face was enough for an armada to be launched and a large wooden horse that defeated an impregnable city. When Atlanta-based game maker cottontrek talks about the Trojan War, they do so in a series of explosions. Explojan Horse is not a game of subtlety. Constructed over a weekend for the latest incarnation of the Ludum Dare game jam, Explojan Horse is a cross…

Videos, Please

Papers, Please parody takes aim at the downfall of video rental

The age of the video rental store is at a close. Blockbusters are the stuff of “remember when” photo essays and ghost towns; a blue and yellow sign of the times. Even independent stores that have long demanded patronage are closing their doors, murdered by Redbox and Netflix. It is in this climate that a team of game makers asks: “Have you ever wanted to play Papers, Please! without the papers and with 100% more video rentals?” should’ve chosen the Sandra Bullock comedy about pirates Videos, Please takes on several elements of the game that it is clearly referencing: you are…

Screenshot from die-agnosis of patient examining screen

Die-Agnosis turns the terrifying history of medical treatment into comedy

Being a doctor in olden times wasn’t an easy task. With no antiseptics, antibiotics, or anesthesia, caring for patients even now wouldn’t be an easy task. You can throw on top of that constant plagues and, oh yeah, replace all modern medical knowledge with cures such as peeing into someone’s ear to relieve their earache. The only thing worse than being an ancient doctor is needing an ancient doctor. Die-Agnosis puts you in the shoes of one of these thoroughly misguided doctors, just doing their best to help the ill. “My sore is oozing” Die-Agnosis was created for Ludum Dare…

Grampy Katz in: The Big Date

A videogame tribute to 1930s cartoons you can play right now

Grandpa has a big date but his house is a mess. The bed is unmade. Dinner is uncooked. Junk mail is strewn about. With only a minute to spare, can he whip the house in shape before his date arrives?  Grampy Katz in: The Big Date is a short but adorable game made by Brent “Meowza” Kobayashi and Brandi “Kukubee” Kobayashi. The married duo created the game in under 72 hours as part of the recent Ludum Dare game jam. “I wanted to make a game about an old person for a little while now because there aren’t a lot of…

the lion's song franz

You’ll want to pay close attention to The Lion’s Song’s second episode

Episode one of The Lion’s Song, titled “Silence,” focused on the timid composer Wilma’s struggle to overcome creative block while secluded in a cabin in the Alps. The forthcoming second episode, “Anthology,” moves on from Wilma’s story, but it won’t leave her behind. Anthology switches protagonists to follow Franz Markert, a painter back in Vienna who can see different “layers” of his subject’s personalities. A brief trailer shows him making cheerful conversation with one of his subjects, inquiring about his childhood as a ghostly figure appears by him, presumably one of the “layers” that Franz is channeling. Earlier, a snippet of…


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…

Paint Bug

Paint Bug fills you with childlike joy as you create digital art

Even with the advent of adult coloring, it’s difficult to find an outlet that makes you feel like you’re creating unique art without actually having the talent to do so. Paint Bug, made in 72 hours for the Ludum Dare game jam, attempts to do just that. Paint Bug gives the player control over a series of sticker-like characters that they can draw across a canvas. Each sticker, from the water droplet to the moon, has a different effect on the canvas. Players then have the opportunity to save their works as the final piece or as a timelapse series that shows all of the frames…

va da

Manipulate shapeshifting hell in Mason Lindroth’s latest game

Mason Lindroth’s animations exist somewhere between the realm of a hellish nightmare, surreal art, and collages. It’s all those things, and also none of them. Lindroth’s repeated animated aesthetic is wholly unique—there’s nothing else like it (and in fact, he even hand-sculpts some objects from clay). And that’s why when he does something as “trivial” as VA DA, a new “animation/drawing program,” it still resonates. It’s wild and bizarre, like so many of his other works before it. A distorted conglomerate of gif-able lo-fi clipart VA DA, as described above, is a simple “drawing” program. You control a space with…