diariesmain
News

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…

undungeon1
News

Undungeon’s pixel art makes the fantasy genre fresh again

A point of honesty: I still have yet to play more than the first hour of The Witcher 3 (2015). Not because the game is bad—in fact, I’ve enjoyed what I’ve seen so far—but because at this point, I’m just too exhausted with fantasy to have much interest in delving any further. How many hours have I spent playing as men in armor swinging their swords at lumbering dragons? Or, in the case of science-fiction, playing as a space ranger swinging his light sword at insectoid queens? Granted, there are fantasy stories that work to subvert these tropes, as we’ve…

catgame2
News

If a pixel-art kitty game doesn’t turn you into a cat person, nothing will

Let’s start off with a confession that’s sure to have my friends messaging me all day: I don’t really like cats. I know, I know—I’m nerdy, I’m introverted, I write about games on the internet, I’m queer. By all accounts, I should be queen cat over here. But ever since growing up with my adorable labrador retriever, Gretchen, I’ve always been more partial to dogs. I don’t particularly have anything against cats; I just tend to have a bit of trouble finding them cute. After playing ᗢ, though, I may finally be a convert. Created by duo katslevania and takorii,…

Mable & the Wood
News

Pixel art exploration game gets its moral ambiguity from Studio Ghibli films

Mable & the Wood is a 2D exploration game about a young red-haired girl with the ability to transform into other creatures. The idea is to get her through the titular colorful woods. However, the more you use the girl’s powers, the more you take from the forest, slowly destroying it—regardless, it’s the only way to reach some areas, and it’s the only way to beat the enemies you meet. The idea behind the game was born in April 2015, as it was made for the Ludum Dare game jam that month, which carried the theme “An Unconventional Weapon,” hence the shape-shifting. Now…

among thorns
News

Another perfect marriage of cyberpunk and pixels

Cyberpunk worlds always seem to draw me in. Whether it’s the derelict planets visited by Spike Spiegel and his bounty hunting companions in the cult classic anime Cowboy Bebop (1997-98), or the replicant-laden world of the famed Blade Runner (1982), cyberpunk has always remained a static aesthetic in the media I’ve read, watched, and played. And freelance pixel artist Matt Frith’s bite-sized cyberpunk point-and-click adventure game Among Thorns is no exception. The setting in Among Thorns is described on as “a world suffering with a technological plague, Cora Bry is recruited for a shady job.” So, essentially, a textbook example of any…

hyperlight drifter2
News

See how far Hyper Light Drifter has come before its arrival next week

Mad Max: Fury Road (2015) wasn’t a tough sell. It had audiences entranced from its first trailer. A desert slashed with muted yellows and clay reds set against a crisp aquamarine sky spoke for itself. The dies irae of Giuseppe Verdi’s “Requiem” was only there to make sure you never forgot. The first trailer for Hyper Light Drifter was different in almost every way, but the effect was the same. Alex Preston introduced his stylish action-RPG not with an apocalyptic bang but with the rhythmic chiptune meditations of a specialty Baths track. Grounded in Will Wiesenfeld’s introspective beat, Hyper Light Drifter wrapped its precious pixel art…

Pixel art
News

Interactive illustrations give pixel art a new lease of life

Pixel art has produced a new trick from up its jagged sleeve—responsive pixel art. Or, as inventive web designer Marcus Blättermann calls it: “resolution-independent pixel illustrations.” Yes, it’s a bit of a mouthful, but don’t worry, interacting with it for the first time should empty your gob as you involuntarily gawp in wonder. It is nothing if not visually spectacular. You’ll need to head over to Blättermann’s website to play around with the illustrations. There are seven in total (though there’s room to add more), all of which work the same way, just with different images to reveal to you. To explain…

radiouniverse2016
News

Radio the Universe gets a few pixels closer to completion

Don’t worry: Radio the Universe still exists. The intensely intimate, meticulously detailed cornucopia of beatific pixels which first surfaced circa 2012 is still progressing, slowly but surely, with a planned release sometime later this year (fingers crossed). In a recent update, the game’s creator, 6e6e6e, discussed the array of challenges associated with building up and refining Radio the Universe’s environments. Visual progress like the kind reported last November might look straightforward enough, but it doesn’t come cheaply. “I was busy constructing an imaginary transport line while a coastline froze over,” 6e6e6 wrote on the game’s Kickstarter page late last month.…