tharsislead
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In praise of the “bad” design of Tharsis

Tharsis begins with an event of astronomical improbability. Somewhere in the interplanetary medium, a meteoroid floating through space at 25 miles a second occupies the same bit of spacetime as the spaceship Inktomi, which is hurtling towards Mars at 11 miles a second. The ship and its crew have been travelling for weeks; the meteoroid, millenia. And there, in the emptiness of the cosmic void, they somehow meet. An impact; a burst of compressed air; a body blown into space; a crippled vessel drifting toward Mars. What remains is a quartet of crew and a fistful of dice to navigate…

Creature
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The birth of No Man’s Sky

If you want more in depth interviews like these, support us on Kickstarter! // Few games have captured the public imagination like No Man’s Sky. Due out in June 2016, the game promises an entire universe to explore: some 18 quintillion planets, which would take some 600 billion hours for players to fully explore. (Who knows, though; never underestimate the public’s appetite for videogames.) This would all be impressive enough, but what turned our heads was the kaleidoscopic array of colors in which the game is painted, full of toxic green skies and impossibly lush plants, dank caves and deep purple…

pluto noby noby boy
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Lonely dwarf planet Pluto finally finds love as Noby Noby Girl arrives

It’s been a rough ride for Pluto ever since it was demoted in 2006 by the no-good scientists who deemed it unworthy of the proper “planet” classification. It lost its confidence, became altogether uninterested in life, and has been revolving in its own sorrow ever since. After the demotion, all of Pluto’s accomplishments were diminished by the “dwarf” planet prefix. No matter what it did—whether completing an orbit around the sun or being visited by a spacecraft—big brother Neptune and his ilk would always outshine him (you know, since they’re closer to the sun). Fear no more the heat of the…

viscera1
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For once, a videogame that has you clear up the violence rather than cause it

Sign up to receive each week’s Playlist e-mail here! Also check out our full, interactive Playlist section. Viscera Cleanup Detail (PC)  BY Runestorm For most people, the idea of cleaning up anything sucks. It’s a chore; not meant to be enjoyed, just endured. What’s going on with Viscera Cleanup Detail then? This is a videogame purely about cleaning that has enjoyed two years of popularity before it was even finished. People are lapping it up like a mop head does spilled liquid. One user review finds comedy in how the person who wrote it refuses to clean their messy room but has scrubbed an…

ver
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Verreciel is a minimalist space exploration game set in a glass ship

There’s a graceful fragility to the works of Devine Lu Linvega and his latest game is no exception. Verreciel, which launches on January 10th, 2016 for iOS, will let you explore “surrounding universes” aboard a vessel called the Glass Ship. There isn’t much info about it beyond that. Its interface is sharp and fine, like glass. Wiry lettering labels its various functions—battery, hull, electricity, thruster. Stars expand beyond its angled windows into long lines the faster you go. Linvega also describes Verreciel as a “linguistically involved project” like his previous ones, including Paradise, Hiversaires, Oquonie, and Ledoliel. Follow Verreciel on Twitter…

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The rhythm game genre is about to get a whole lot darker

You were lured in by the sight of a skeleton astronaut, weren’t you? Or is that just me? The idea of an astronaut left to rot in space grips me as one of the horrors of the future. At the moment, as far as public records show, there are no dead people floating around in space. But we have to suppose that one day there will be. There’ll be an accident and, for whatever reason, a body will be left to drift off into the void, unrecoverable.  what makes a human a human  Laserlife is an upcoming videogame that follows…