Broken Breakout

Here’s a tip: Break games to find new ones

Sign up to receive each week’s Playlist e-mail here! Also check out our full, interactive Playlist section. Broken Breakout? (Browser, Windows, Mac) By Tim Garbos One person’s trash is another person’s treasure. That’s how the old adage goes. But can it be applied to videogames? Tim Garbos seems to have set out on a solo mission to prove that it can with his Ludum Dare 37 entry Broken Breakout? The game follows the same rules as the Atari arcade classic but takes away some of the mechanics. For starters, the bat is immovable and the ball isn’t perpetually bouncing around. But…


Keyboard Sports wants you to find joy in using keyboards again

Keyboard Sports turned my Spacebar into a couch and that is so darn delightful. Thank you for that, Keyboard Sports. I’ve never really seen my keyboard as anything other than a set of lettered keys before. I barely look at it as I jam my fingers into it every day, typing up my thoughts, but now it has regained my attention—it’s like my imagination from childhood has been reawakened. Now I see that my keyboard can have its own geography: each key could be a building as part of a city, or a single tree in a forest. With the right…

it aint over

Play with words in a videogame about weird idioms

English is a curious language. It’s deceptively easy to pick up, oversimplified and left bare by our lack of gendered nouns and relatively easy cases, but as anyone with a different mother tongue will tell you, mastering it is incredibly hard. It’s a carefree language that pays little heed to convention or regulation, preferring to wander and expound and run-on and twist itself in knots, all while remaining within the bounds of “correct” grammatical structure. We constantly ignore our standard sounds while stealing words from other languages and mangling theirs, too. And if that wasn’t enough, if the transgressions made…


3:15AM makes obfuscation a play mechanic in Nordic Game Jam gem

It’s 2:24PM and I’m playing 3:15AM, an experimental game made by Martin Fasterholdt and Tim Garbos at the Nordic Game Jam held two weeks ago in Copenhagen. I have no idea what to do. My lo-poly man sits in an office chair. His posture reminds me of the Thinking Man statue; my own thoughts are similarly statuesque, i.e., frozen solid, inert. The only instructions say “Arrow keys to move.” I press right and I fall off the chair. I start over, then press left. I fall again. A persistent drone hums. Moonlight filters through two windows. A desk, cabinet and…