windowframe
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A game idea hidden right in front of you

Sign up to receive each week’s Playlist e-mail here! Also check out our full, interactive Playlist section. windowframe (PC) BY DANIEL LINSSEN You’re reading this inside a window. Practically every interaction with a piece of software takes place inside one. This has been the norm for computer use since around 1990, which is when Microsoft’s Windows 3.0 arrived and engulfed all other graphical interfaces. It’s reasonable to say, then, that having us reconsider the windows we peer into our computer files and the internet with every day isn’t an easy task. But, in only 48 hours, game designer Daniel Linssen has managed exactly…

Stephen's Sausage Roll
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Stephen’s Sausage Roll gives you something to chew on

Sign up to receive each week’s Playlist e-mail here! Also check out our full, interactive Playlist section. Stephen’s Sausage Roll (PC, Mac) BY INCREPARE GAMES Sometimes, you look down at an item of food and wish it was twenty times bigger so you could enjoy more of that food. Other times, you play a game and wish it was twenty times harder so you could play it for longer. Luckily, both are the case with Stephen’s Sausage Roll, a puzzle game about a guy named Stephen who’s sole purpose in life is to grill two giant sausage links to perfection. Stephen’s Sausage…

unnamed
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Come for the swordplay, stay for the mystery

Sign up to receive each week’s Playlist e-mail here! Also check out our full, interactive Playlist section. Hyper Light Drifter (PC, Mac) BY HEART MACHINE Hyper Light Drifter starts out loud—streams of stars, planet-sized eruptions, and a huge, electric soundtrack by Fez (2013) composer Diasterpeace. Then it fades into the near-silence of an open map and a drifter coughing up blood. You’re left with a headful of questions. As you push the drifter to cut through stoic enemies and dash across environments lush with secrets, you start to piece together the answers. What emerges is a language. It turns pixels into glyphs, and tells…

samorost-3-mushrooms
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The adventure game you don’t want to miss

Sign up to receive each week’s Playlist e-mail here! Also check out our full, interactive Playlist section. Samorost 3 (PC, Mac) AMANITA DESIGN Music, nature, and animation come together as one in Samorost 3. Yes, perhaps more so than in many other videogames. Your cursor doesn’t just point-and-click, it ruffles bushes, causes alarm to sleeping birds, and picks mushrooms. It’s your entry into a tangible universe, split across several planets and moons, all of it woven together by photographs, wood sounds, and hand-animated dream sequences. Your direct task is to help a space gnome return a flute that dropped from the sky to…

commedia
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Practice your improv in this videogame theater

Sign up to receive each week’s Playlist e-mail here! Also check out our full, interactive Playlist section. Commedia del’Arte (PC, Mac) A COLLABORATION BETWEEN STUDENTS AT THE ENJMIN AND EMCA SCHOOLS Surprisingly, improv is about more than Amy Poehler making fart jokes. At the heart of great improv is a sense of play. Though it’s controlled and focused, emergent play defines improv as much as it defines games like The Sims, where players (or actors) are encouraged to go to town within the confines of a defined possibility space. Commedia dell’Arte: Masks, Masters and Servants marries the play of improv with the play of videogames into…

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Broadway comes to videogames in Peter Panic

Sign up to receive each week’s Playlist e-mail here! Also check out our full, interactive Playlist section. Peter Panic (iOS) ADULT SWIM GAMES The musicals of Broadway permeate Peter Panic. Not only is the game about restoring a small town theater, it features a full score by award-winning concert composer Benjamin Bonnema, and also stars a voice cast of actual Broadway talent. It is also a musical itself. You play as aspiring director Peter as he hops around the local businesses to get funding for the defunct theater of his childhood town. Conversation is sung with arms and mouths stretched wide. Once…

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Design ridiculous death traps so that your friends cuss you

Sign up to receive each week’s Playlist e-mail here! Also check out our full, interactive Playlist section. Ultimate Chicken Horse (PC, Mac) CLEVER ENDEAVOR Beneath the friendly veneer of party games like Mario Party and Mario Kart lies the murderous need to beat your friends at all costs. Sure, it’s all fun and games—until someone throws a red shell only to pull up ahead of you during the final lap. In that moment, winning becomes secondary. Nothing matters more than destroying your friend/betrayer. Ultimate Chicken Horse drops all pretenses by inviting you to participate in the game equivalent of cutting off your own nose to spite your face.…

PUSER TOH
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A classic arcade game gets the SUPERHOT treatment

Sign up to receive each week’s Playlist e-mail here! Also check out our full, interactive Playlist section. PUSER TOH (PC, Mac, Linux) SOS SOSOWSKI With the arrival of the Polish-made first-person shooter SUPERHOT, fellow Polish game creator Sos Sosowski decided to make a small tribute to the game’s “time only moves when you move” concept. But rather than make another shooter, Sosowski applied the principal to classic videogame Pong (1972), making for a surprisingly fresh result. In PUSER TOH (an anagram), moving your paddle up and down the screen causes the ball to speed up, while keeping it stationary results in the ball travelling very slowly. It…

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Let Tomb of the Mask consume you with its frantic death chase

Sign up to receive each week’s Playlist e-mail here! Also check out our full, interactive Playlist section. Tomb of the Mask (iOS) HAPPYMAGENTA Tomb of the Mask brings a new perspective to the arcade game, both literally and figuratively. Combining classic Tetris (1984) and Pac-Man (1980) aesthetics, Tomb of the Mask places you in a vertically scrolling gauntlet where the goal is to eat dots and coins while the ever-present threat of an encroaching death screen threatens from below if you don’t move upwards fast enough. You can latch onto any wall in the procedurally-generated arena which, in combination with your unstoppable momentum, creates most of the game’s challenge. Along the…