Aragami
News

A game for Tenchu fans arrives next month

The darkness is scary. We’ve been fighting back against night and shadows since prehistoric times. It’s a fear that horror movies and novels have preyed on for decades; the dark room, the claustrophobic shadows where unknown horrors lurk, are often more dread-inducing than the monster itself. In Aragami, you are the monster lurking in the shadows and the darkness is your weapon. Well, more specifically, you’re a summoned otherworldly assassin with the power to bend the shadows to your will. Last time, we wrote about the game, it was known as Twin Souls; two years and a failed Kickstarter later, Aragami…

Tahira-Echoes-of-the-Astral-Empire-Screenshot-8
Review

Tahira: Echoes of the Astral Empire only adds to the noise

According to its Kickstarter campaign, the first seed of what would become Tahira: Echoes of the Astral Empire was the game’s emblematic image: a woman in blue looks down at her red, burning city. There’s a paucity of details that add to the drama; the mountains are uniformly dark, while the desert is boundless and bare. Both are supported by the game’s plain, unsophisticated aesthetic, charmingly complete with rotoscope animation. All of the above combine to create an interesting drama out of drabness: two splashes of color set against a dun disaster. But this image represents the whole of Tahira…

Virginia
News

At last, the Lynchian detective drama Virginia has a release date

You could be forgiven for not hearing of Virginia before now. The first-person detective game—described by many as a mix of Twin Peaks, The X-Files, and Brendon Chung’s Thirty Flights of Loving (2012)—is something you probably want to be focusing your attention on right now, especially as it’s arrival is right around the corner. Here’s the deets: Virginia is coming to Windows, Mac, Xbox One, and PlayStation 4 on September 22nd. That’s less than a month away. Maybe it’s time to get up to speed. a love letter to TV shows that mix the wonderful and the mundane You can…

bmas06
News

Three burly men will set out on a gentle adventure with you next month

Just hearing the name Burly Men at Sea—along with watching its trailers, filled to the brim with a bouncing, benevolent brawniness–effectively communicates what it’s like to play the game. You embark on a journey as not one, not two, but three Brothers Beard, who put the lumbersexual hipster trend to shame. Heeding the call of the blue siren, you join them as they gallivant across the sea and a storybook of various Norwegian haunts. “We knew we were making Burly Men at Sea before we knew what it would be,” said co-creator David Condolora. “We had that name in our head before we even started making…

Slayaway Camp
News

Slayaway Camp turns VHS horror into a cute, murderous puzzle

Slayaway Camp is a puzzle game about massacring hapless teenagers, and, perhaps fittingly, it comes from a place of aggression. “After a decade [of] making gems go clink and pegs go… Peggle at PopCap,” said Jason Kapalka, one of the founders of PopCap, and now returning to independence with Blue Wizard, “I had a lot of pent-up aggression and wanted to work on something really violent and gross.” A sliding puzzle game isn’t the most likely candidate to vent such vicious desires. And that’s entirely the point—Kapalka is looking to assault the sparkly, saccharine game genre with Slayaway Camp in action. As…

screenshot3
News

Dutch videogame maker aims to confront Europe’s colonial past

Herald’s narrative revolves largely around one question: How does your cultural heritage influence your identity? For many—including the point-and-click period drama’s protagonist, Devan Rensburg—it’s a complicated question, made even more complicated by the world’s history of colonialism. The “violent cultural clash” of colonialism plays a massive part in the complexity of the multiracial identity; and those complexities are what Herald aims to take on, through the eyes of the in-game ship’s (the HLV Herald) mixed-race steward. Wispfire cites a certain urgency in putting out this game now, in this cultural climate. Race and immigration are at the forefront of many political…

Klocki
News

Relax your body, tease your mind with artful puzzle game Klocki

Maciej Targoni, the creator of Klocki, describes himself as a Polish game developer that lives in the woods, and wants his puzzle games to communicate with players using only its mechanics. His game has no score, no timer, and no tutorial—just blocks and shapes. Mostly lines. A distinct design style rooted in a minimal aesthetic is established within Klocki—but it’s not what defines it. Targoni was more interested in creating a game with sharp mechanics. It’s the simplicity and clarity of the gameplay that inspires the art, he says. it’s actually pretty calming Targoni’s early prototypes reaffirm this process. Scrolling through…

Thumper
News

Thumper is set to blow your damn face off this October

Thumper may not be the first rhythm game to feature a craft accelerating down winding paths in sync with the beat, but its aggressive assault of color and sound and speed promises to perhaps be the most hypnotic. The intense and otherworldly  “rhythm violence” of the game has been gestating since developer Drool formed in 2009, and now, like its titular chrome beetle, is finally set to emerge on October 13th for PlayStation 4, PlayStation VR, and Steam. “an overwhelming sense of speed and monumental dread” In a recent PlayStation blog post, co-founder Marc Flury discussed what you should expect when…

Inside
Feature

Let’s obsess over what Inside is all about

This article contains lots of spoilers for Inside. /// When I got to the furnace I thought that was the end of Inside. Immediately my heart stopped. “Oh my god they didn’t,” I thought. But the momentum of the moment and all the crashing glass and shrill screams that had come before urged me on. The King of Limbs (as some are now referring to it) slunk closer to the wall, both of us transfixed by the flames. The blob of mangled flesh and synaptic impulses is a tragic abomination, but did the game’s creators really want it to die?…