Owlboy is a masterful tale of transcending disability

My girlfriend speaks softly. She’s a ghost on the phone. If you ever met her in person, you’d lean in a little when she introduced herself. You could say it’s her personality. But you’d only be half right. The other half has something to do with a very large truck that collided with her small body when she was seven, leaving her in such a state that the doctors who treated her became locally famous. While the miracle docs lined up for pictures in the newspaper, Erin was still unable to communicate; it was years, she tells me now, before…


Beard Blade might be the manliest videogame of them all

Inspired by SNES, Genesis, and GBA classics, Beard Blade is an eccentric 2D platformer that follows the adventures of a farmer as he struggles to rid his town of troublesome imps. After an encounter with a magically-skilled barber, the farmer takes on the pseudonym Beard Blade, and his beard becomes not just a physical manifestation of his masculinity, but also his greatest weapon in battle. The Kickstarter trailer for Beard Blade begins with an animation of the pirate-like imps attacking the farmer’s village with cannonballs, but he saves the day by catching a projectile with his beard and using it to…


New frantic game is basically Devil Daggers in space

There are particular games that can only exist within the confines of the technological limitations of the time they were created. Missile Command (1980) feels anxious in its simplicity: the silence of surrounding the explosions of the missiles reminds you that, eventually, no matter how hard you try, all the cities you are attempting to save will be destroyed. On the other hand, the 2007 Xbox 360 remake of Missile Command added techno music and other small tweaks that, together, deeply obscure the Cold War-era fear of the original. the anxiety heightened by its use of Game Boy graphics An entry into…


A game that uses a real floppy disk as its controller

It’s been a long time since I’ve used a floppy disk. Years and years ago I remember having a digital camera and having to load old floppy disks in it. Before that I would store small pictures and writings on a floppy disk. These days, floppies exist most in the form of save icons. But a game called Mr. Floppy is giving the old format a new purpose. No longer about storage, the floppy disk is now a videogame controller. “I don’t really remember the last time I used a floppy disk, but I had a Mac when I was young…


Let’s all hold hands and play Shu on October 4th

Some may say that the platform genre is oversaturated, but then the hand-drawn art and hand-holding playfulness of Shu comes along to throw that argument into the trash. It’s due out for PlayStation 4 on October 4th with a PlayStation Vita version arriving before the end of the year too. So keep your faith in the platformer until then, yeah? The game follows the story of Shu, who you’ll guide through towns to save villagers, trying your best to outrun the apocalyptic storm trying to consume the whole world around you. As you run across the screen, you grab the hands of…


Clustertruck is an absolutely truckin’ wild time

Even the best poker players are playing a game of chance. That’s exactly how it feels to play Landfall Games’ upcoming Clustertruck. No matter how good I thought I was getting at it, no matter how well I had done in the prior level, something unexpected would come along and put me in my place. Part Hotline Miami (2012), part The Floor is Lava, Clustertruck’s objective is deceptively simple: jump from moving semi truck to semi truck until you reach the goal. Fall on the ground, though, and you have to start over. Easy, right? No. The second you take…

Little Nightmares

Your childhood fears will come to life in Little Nightmares

As a kid, I was afraid of the dark. Afraid of the shadows that veiled the monsters that might swallow me. My imagination turned nighttime into a dizzying experience where I was constantly startled and petrified by every sudden shift of motion or shuffling sounds. I always hid underneath my blanket, afraid to face whatever loomed on the other side. Little Nightmares taps into these same childhood fears. This time around, though, the monsters are real. The shadows are perilous. And, it’s up to you and you alone to escape it. Playing as Six, the child heroine of the game, you…


A new retro-style platformer lets other players control the monsters

Game jams are filled with sleepless nights. Designers and artists gather for a short period of time, like a weekend, then work non-stop to create something playable in that limited time frame. A game jam is an intense and challenging way to create a game. And yet, it’s how many fantastic videogames are born, like Surgeon Simulator (2013), SUPERHOT, and Nuclear Throne (2015). One of the latest game jam ideas turned retail release is Don’t Crawl, from Nick Belorusov and Vadim Dyachenko “Ideas that spring to mind at 4AM when waking up for a game jam, are rarely truly original,” Belorusov explained when…

We All End Up Alone

We All End Up Alone is an upcoming game about battling cancer

It’s late. You’re sitting on the couch staring at the TV. The phone rings. You glance away from the dim screen over at the clock hanging on the wall. You reach over to grab the phone and hold it up to your ear. “Hey, Em.” The voice on the other end sounds tired. “He has cancer. It’s … terminal.” You close your eyes as the words, sinister and cruel, plague your thoughts. Terminal Cancer. “I need you to tell your brothers for me.” You hang up and sink further into the couch. The feet of the analog clock continue their…