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…

Quadrilateral Cowboy

Don’t let Quadrilateral Cowboy slip through your fingers

When Brendon Chung described Quadrilateral Cowboy to IGN in 2013, he framed it as a departure from his narrative-focused work in Thirty Flights of Loving (2012) and Gravity Bone (2008). “I wanted to go in a very different direction,” he said, “and let the player experiment in a sandbox and figure out their own solutions to problems.” This third game about the seedy underbelly of Nuevos Aires—the fictional city that many of Chung’s games are set in—is much longer and more complex than its predecessors, but shares many of the same ideas about how to string quotidian moments into a…

Brendon Chung

Brendon Chung and his love for big dumb plastic switches

This article is part of Issue 8.5, a digital zine available to Kill Screen’s print subscribers. Read more about it here and get a copy yourself by subscribing to our soon-to-be-relaunched print magazine. /// The midpoint of Daft Punk’s 2013 album Random Access Memories is marked by an effusive, sprawling ode to touch. An unidentified narrator walks the listener through memories and speculation on feeling as they try to recall what seems like fading indicators of what feeling ever was. On “Touch,” we get a sense that the narrator was once organic like us. But now, metallic and glistening under a…


The Games of Los Angeles

Our upcoming print reinvention is going to zero in on the creators we love and their current projects. Three of our favorite upcoming games are from independent Los Angeles-based developers doing exciting, diverse work that nonetheless shares strong aesthetic vision full of pixels, pastels, and bold geometry. They take inspiration from LA’s cinematic history, its geography, and their local hangouts in ways both obvious—the heist hijinks of Quadrilateral Cowboy—and subtle—the way that LA’s growth has erased much of its history inspired Donut County. You can look for more in-depth looks at the developers when our magazine launches next year. Hyper…


Watch ten minutes of Quadrilateral Cowboy’s perspective-twisting mind-jacking

Quadrilateral Cowboy has gone through quite the metamorphosis over the course of development, as we can see in this footage of Brendon Chung showing off the new body-swapping, Betamax-hacking, entering-the-Matrix gameplay.  Originally the game was due out in 2013 and was far less ambitious. It was one of those games where you theoretically learn to code through playing, like Hack ’n’ Slash and Minecraft. “It spurred players to be creative, and tapped into what I feel is a big joy of programming: empowering yourself through learning a new language …. ‘OK, what now?’” Chung told Edge. But since then the…


Quadrilateral Cowboy is not the cyberpunk game you think it is

Brendon Chung’s jury-lauded hacking game Quadrilateral Cowboy is your archetypal cyberpunk game, right? You operate from a Matrix-like control room; it’s a game about hacking; the word “cowboy” is in the title; hover-bikes are a thing. But unlike sci-fi works that focus on sleek but oppressive tech of the distant future, Blendo Games’ vision of cyberpunk subculture looks backwards to VHS and dial-up modems. What gives? Speaking to Edge, Chung explained the unlikely blend of futuristic concepts with obsolete technology.  Tech nowadays is focused on being sleek and attractive. Part of me misses the ugly, clunky interfaces of past decades. I…