Undertale, one year later

September 15th marks a full year since the arrival of Undertale, Toby Fox’s 16 bit-style role-playing game for PC. Its auspicious reception, which even delivered the game into the Pope’s hands, seems now more than ever to have been a flashpoint in current debates as to what constitutes excellence in videogames. Standing apart from the colossal world-building efforts that typically crowd year-end lists, Undertale offered something else: an epic-in-miniature, the latest entry in a tradition that might also include the animated shorts of David OReilly, Sarah Orne Jewett’s The Country of the Pointed Firs (1896), and Chopin’s preludes, which served…

Lost Ember

An upcoming game lets you explore Mesoamerican ruins as a wolf

Mooneye Studios looked to narrative-heavy titles like Journey (2012) and The Legend of Zelda: Twilight Princess (2006) for its upcoming game Lost Ember. And like those titles, it began as a third-person exploration game with puzzle elements, but much of the development process has so far involved paring away its more traditional design concepts. “We felt that they [distracted] from what we are really trying to do,” says Mooneye’s CEO Tobias Graff. “We want to create an experience and trigger certain emotions, get the player to feel the story, and these mechanics always felt wrong for that. The main drive in Lost Ember comes from the story…