The Turing Test will have you question your humanity

UK-based studio Bulkhead Interactive has released an announcement trailer for their upcoming game The Turing Test, slated for release on Xbox One and Steam in August 2016. It’ll have you playing as Ava Turing, an engineer for the International Space Agency (ISA), as she investigates the truth behind the ISA research base on Jupiter’s moon Europa. As you dig deeper into the moon’s frozen core, the game aims to explore the phenomena of consciousness and challenge the meaning of human intuition. How it will manage this is through the format of a first-person puzzle shooter that features obstacles designed in a way…


An upcoming puzzle game tasks you with decoding classic literature

In the world of Ray Bradbury’s 1953 novel Fahrenheit 451, books have been outlawed and are burned en masse by the state, only kept in small collections by the occasional revolutionary. Instead of reading, the majority of people spend their free time in “entertainment parlors,” rooms lined with massive screens that constantly broadcast Dora the Explorer-style call-and-response programs meant to elicit the illusion of interactivity. It’s a pointed premise, conceived during the early years of the television’s rise to prominence in the American household. It also reflects a constant theme in Bradbury’s work: that with advances in technology, culture tends…

Exit Berlin

The strange appeal of being locked in a room for an hour with friends

It is Saturday night, February 27th, and I am trapped in a submarine. Moments ago I was dancing on my tip-toes across the sidewalk, oddly gallant amid the bitter air of the Bristol harborside. Now there’s a tall man in a yellow jacket bent-double in the corner, sick from weeks of tinned peaches—I try to stare through his facade before shying away as his eyes turn towards mine. I am not really on a submarine. We are pretending. Five adults fumbling around a concealed wooden cube for printed cards and hidden cabinets. A digital timer counts down from 60 minutes to…


Exploring the mind-bending science of 4D in Miegakure

Videogames have always existed as multidimensional. Whether we were bouncing a ball from side-to-side in the perpetually flat, 2D Pong (1972), or playing as fully-realized 3D people, queueing up to learn how to shoot one another. It has always been us: 3D humans, observing multi-dimensional projections from a 2D screen. In a recent development update from Marc ten Bosch’s highly-anticipated puzzle game Miegakure, Bosch speaks of the science behind his foray into the unknown dimension of 4D. In Miegakure, the player bends reality in order to solve puzzles. In the developer’s scientific-based vlog update on the game, Bosch said, “What you…

Death's Life

Make murder look like an accident in Death’s Life

If you were to rap your knuckles across Death’s wooden door you might expect a black hooded cloak wielding a scythe to welcome you in. This is the most well-known image of Death over here in the contemporary west. But the personification of our greatest fear has a rich history and comes in many forms. In Slavic mythology, a female demon called Marzanna is known to bring death, winter, and nightmares. In East Asian mythology, Yama is the wrathful male god that judges the dead and oversees hell (Spelunky players will be familiar with this). In Latin America, festivals are held to…


Delightfully surreal adventure Samorost 3 comes out this March

We got a glimpse of it last year, but now it’s been confirmed that the full, beautiful picture of Samorost 3 will be landing on this planet on March 24th, 2016 for Windows and Mac. This is the next in Czech-based game studio Amanita Design’s Samorost series, which started back in 2003 as a free browser-based title about a small gnomish creature wandering through a biomechanical spaceship in an attempt to stop it from crashing into his home asteroid. The title did well, being nominated for a Webby Award and prompting a Webby-winning sequel in 2005, which carved the path towards Amanita’s…

witness lights

The unrelenting science of The Witness

When I played a demo version of The Witness at a Sony event in 2013, I was offered two approaches: 1) I could be lead through a basic tutorial of the way the game’s puzzle systems work, or 2) I could be left to wander around the island landscape and discover it at my whim. I chose the latter option, only encountered a handful of the game’s signature line-tracing puzzle panels, and spent the rest of my time gawking at the natural and architectural framework of the island. I strolled down to a seashore under a desert cliff where a…

Told No One

Secrets sit behind the devilish sound puzzles of Told No One

“You told no one, right?” This is the language we use when speaking of secrets. Something was found out and it must be kept as unknown as possible. It’s telling that Karachi-based artist NAWKSH uses these words to title his videogame Told No One. For it seems to be a tightly woven secret itself. It’s hiding something, perhaps many things, beyond the arcane rituals it tests you with. From the outside, Told No One seems simple enough. The description reads: “five short sound puzzles / interactive experiments in greyscale.” Sounds quite pleasant. But once you head inside it’s immediately clear that…

twofold inc

Twofold inc. makes matching tiles feel like shooting a gun

Who is this fumbling little alien? Looking like the offspring of Kang and Kodos, cyclopean and tentacled, working some dead-end 9-to-5. In space, nonetheless. And without a clue. No, really, who are you little dude? This alien’s job is to not know anything. It’s a tutorial alien that is stupefied by me as I work out how to play twofold inc. That’s right: inc. I’m working for a company in this game. Or, at least, this alien is supposed to be. But I’m doing its job for it. I suppose that’s fine. I mean, I don’t mind, not with the bleeps…