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…

samorostlead
News

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…

betweenmeandthenightlead
Review

Between Me and the Night makes childhood last forever

The past can be an unclear place—definable through facts, yet easily clouded by emotion. Whether from nostalgia, personal interest, or error, humans have a pronounced ability to mis-remember or poorly represent their own history. In a sense, this defines us: as a populace, we live with the potential to build our lives on a set of experiences which may not be quite as precise, or as true, as we might want them to be. It is typical for creators in any medium to draw on the experiences that shaped them when they were young. We tend to mythologize the art…

bmatn_TV-002
News

Between Me and the Night promises magical realism with spooky undertones

When you’re a kid, monsters aren’t just something you entertain as a distant possibility—there are times when you’re, like, 90 percent sure they’re actually there. I can remember several nights lying awake in bed in my childhood home, unable to close my eyes because of my deep conviction that something on the other side of those slatted closet doors had it in for me. The “something” changed over the years (it was Chucky from Child’s Play until I saw The Exorcist for the first time), but my sense that it was more than possible that those fictional characters had tracked…