Kentucky Route Zero Act IV
Review

Kentucky Route Zero: Act IV is an elegy

Michael Snow’s 1967 experimental film Wavelength is a 45-minute long zoom on an empty room. Outside the walls, and the camera’s frame, the insignificant dramas of human life play out in sad, abortive spirals. Men move furniture into the room; two friends drink and listen to the Beatles; in the end, a man dies on the floor and a woman calmly informs the cops of his corpse. Snow is monomaniacally committed to his premise: Wavelength is a canonical example of experimental film precisely because of its push-pull between dry, structural formalism and gut-level intrigue. In a way it’s a murder…

here they lie
News

Here They Lie might be the horror game VR needs

What happens when you combine nightmares, beards, the claustrophobia of VR, and leaving behind AAA development? Apparently, surreal horror games are born. Here They Lie, announced during E3 last week, is a new title for both PlayStation 4 and PlayStation VR, developed by Tangentlemen Studios. The new studio is made up of other industry veterans, some former Call of Duty and Medal of Honor developers, as well as co-creative directors and lead designers Cory Davis (creative director and lead designer for 2012’s Spec Ops: The Line) and Toby Gard (designer of the original 1996 Tomb Raider and the iconic character of Lara Croft).…

surrealista
News

Walk inside the dreamy paintings of a Metaphysical art pioneer

Imagine if you could visit any museum in the entire world: The Louvre, the MET, the MOMA. Any museum you’ve ever dreamed of. Now imagine again, if you could literally visit and walk within any work of art from around the world. This is a gift that Gigoia Studios has brought to life, time and again, with their fine art appreciation projects. Now realized to its fullest capacity with the fully completed SURREALISTa, a virtual, interactive exploration through eight classic paintings of Italian metaphysical art pioneer Giorgio de Chirico. Not diminished by new technology, but enhanced De Chirico’s work is…

va da
News

Manipulate shapeshifting hell in Mason Lindroth’s latest game

Mason Lindroth’s animations exist somewhere between the realm of a hellish nightmare, surreal art, and collages. It’s all those things, and also none of them. Lindroth’s repeated animated aesthetic is wholly unique—there’s nothing else like it (and in fact, he even hand-sculpts some objects from clay). And that’s why when he does something as “trivial” as VA DA, a new “animation/drawing program,” it still resonates. It’s wild and bizarre, like so many of his other works before it. A distorted conglomerate of gif-able lo-fi clipart VA DA, as described above, is a simple “drawing” program. You control a space with…

Mosaic
News

Mosaic will tackle the soul-crushing surrealism of adult life

Kafkaesque. It’s a word whose usage in everyday conversation has inspired an unfair status as a self-effacing pejorative of pseudo-intellectualism. Believe it or not, Kafkaesque does retain a meaning apart from these misconceptions; a shorthand description of the soul-crushing drudgery and ineffectual bureaucratic tyranny found in the absurdist-nightmare fictions of, you guessed it, Franz Kafka. It’s a word that’s grown to typify the restless indignation of the individual working in the white-collar hive-mind of the 21st century, and it’s a word that aptly describes the tone of Krillbite Studio’s upcoming point-and-click adventure Mosaic. you’ll start to realize that something is…

Samorost3_termites
Review

Samorost 3 is the best adventure game in years

In a cabin near Walker’s Lake, in Mississippi, there’s a piece of driftwood that looks almost like a wolf’s head. From another angle, it appears as some bizarre sailing vessel, and from another still, it has the look of an alien weapon—perhaps a hybrid of a gun and a club. I remember turning it over in my hands as a child, curious as to why anyone would place an oddly-shaped piece of wood on a table as a decorative object. I hadn’t thought of that bit of ornamental flotsam for years, but it suddenly appeared in my mind when I…

KRZ teaser
News

Kentucky Route Zero Act IV gets a mysterious interactive teaser

Oh, it’s coming. Kentucky Route Zero Act IV currently sits out-of-sight—somewhere among the hot haze of a distant horizon—but, rest assured, it is heading this way. No, we don’t have a release date still, but there is yet another teaser to polish with your eyeballs. Last time, we had only an image. It was static, domestic, mundane. A person leaned on one of the many balconies of a high-rise populated by air-con units and washing that’s been hung out to dry. We don’t know the person in this image. We can only see that they hold a telephone to their ear.…

Californium-Cover
Review

Californium can’t get past writer’s block

Growing up in the heyday of graphic adventures has caused me to live in fear of the pixel hunt. It used to be that I’d load up the otherwise innovative Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade (1989) or the visually sumptuous Riven (1997), only to spend hours stuck, madly combing the screen for details that were secretly interactive. I would click every gradient of a stone wall, every book on a library shelf, but nothing would happen. Next screen. Click, nothing. Click. Click, click, click, click. I might cry out expletives in a raspy whisper at the height of my…