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A trash game that you should definitely play

Sign up to receive each week’s Playlist e-mail here! Also check out our full, interactive Playlist section. Diaries of a Spaceport Janitor (Windows, Mac) BY SUNDAE MONTH Similar to how Viscera Cleanup Detail used the role of a janitor to make players question the presumptions of a violent space-faring hero, Diaries of a Spaceport Janitor shows a different side to the cosmic explorer’s life. Labeled an “anti-adventure,” you play as a janitor who relatably dreams of a bigger, brighter future. The world consists of a chaotic cityscape, where you must not only incinerate everyone’s garbage, but can also explore trading opportunities, quests,…

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A game about the tough task of being a woman

Sign up to receive each week’s Playlist e-mail here! Also check out our full, interactive Playlist section. Perfect Woman (Xbox One) BY PETER LU & LEA SCHÖNFELDER Perfect Woman is about the impossible performances of being a woman. It takes you from the first breath to the last in the life of a woman, making a number of decisions that affect the trajectory of her life along the way. But it’s not just the choices you make that determine her fate: each step in her life is followed up by a performance of that role, the Xbox’s Kinect tracking your full-body movement as you…

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Bound brings videogames to the ballet

Sign up to receive each week’s Playlist e-mail here! Also check out our full, interactive Playlist section. Bound (PlayStation 4) BY PLASTIC STUDIOS & SIE SANTA MONICA STUDIO Rhythm games may use dancing animations to show a beat, but not many games engage with dance as an artform. In Bound, the beauty of the ballet takes center stage. The platformer casts the player as a faceless dancer who must defeat a nebulous monster by pirouetting across each fragmented level. With abstract landscapes and an irresistibly graceful protagonist, Bound is a feast for the eyes. The surreal story and level design paint…

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N++ knows you can go faster than that

Sign up to receive each week’s Playlist e-mail here! Also check out our full, interactive Playlist section. N++(Windows, PlayStation 4) BY METANET SOFTWARE There hasn’t been an N game on PC since the first one back in 2004. Now the second sequel, N++, has arrived on its home platform (it’s also available on PS4). While it is a sequel, N++ is better considered a version of the original game that’s been refined and tweaked over the course of a decade. It’s a momentum-based 2D platformer as before, one that has you collecting gold squares while dodging missiles and darting past…

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Style Savvy is a much-needed dose of beauty therapy

Sign up to receive each week’s Playlist e-mail here! Also check out our full, interactive Playlist section. Style Savvy (Nintendo 3DS) BY SYN SOPHIA What if I told you that a magical place existed where the makeovers flow like wine, and boutique shopping lives in a world where strip malls don’t exist. The place is Beaumonde City, and the game is the latest installment of Nintendo’s 3DS fashion sim, Style Savvy. Like past titles, you are a boutique manager helping every customer who walks through the door find exactly what she needs to put her best fashion foot forward. Aside from a…

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Magic Wand captures what it’s like to play RPGs as a kid

Sign up to receive each week’s Playlist e-mail here! Also check out our full, interactive Playlist section. Magic Wand (Windows, Mac, Linux) By thecatamites Stephen Murphy, aka thecatamites, is perhaps best known for his parody game Space Funeral (2010). In it, he deconstructs the JRPG by taking the nonsense logic of their fetch quests and oddly single-purpose characters to new extremes. He proves it doesn’t take much for the JRPG to go from a fiction we can accept to an absurd cadaver of meaning. You can tell Murphy has fostered a love for JRPGs, but it’s a love for their encapsulated stupidity, their…

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Become the god of your own topography

Sign up to receive each week’s Playlist e-mail here! Also check out our full, interactive Playlist section. Mu Cartographer (Windows, Mac) BY TITOUAN MILLET Much like David OReilly’s Mountain (2014), Mu Cartographer is a visual toy about exploring a planet from a distance. Unlike Mountain, however, Mu Cartographer allows you to interact with the landscape itself through a strange machine. In the game, you are a treasure hunter and, by jiggering the knobs at your disposal, you see different layers of the topography. Through experimentation and close attention to detail, you peel back the landscape’s colorful secrets, like pyramids and temples.…

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Get dazzled by the watery depths of Abzû

Sign up to receive each week’s Playlist e-mail here! Also check out our full, interactive Playlist section. Abzû (Windows, PlayStation 4) BY GIANT SQUID Abzû is the next game by Matt Nava, who was previously the art director at thatgamecompany, most notably on Journey (2012). Nava and team trade desert sands for oceans and the many creatures that populate them in Abzû. It all started with a dreamy vision of scuba diving, and has since flowed into an underwater journey full of orchestrated highs and lows, of unknown depths and dangers, where you learn to admire and respect the fish all around you.…

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Sit down and hack into the analog world of Quadrilateral Cowboy

Sign up to receive each week’s Playlist e-mail here! Also check out our full, interactive Playlist section. QUADRILATERAL COWBOY (Windows) BY BLENDO GAMES From the maker of Gravity Bone (2008) and Thirty Flights of Loving (2012), Quadrilateral Cowboy (affectionately nicknamed Quad Cow) is the latest vignette game from Brendon Chung of Blendo Games. A story told in the same world as Thirty Flights of Loving, this one focuses on the effects of technology in our experience of culture, careers, relationships, and privacy. Combining the aesthetics and mentality of Y2K with the badass heists of Oceans Eleven, Quadrilateral Cowboy invites players to…