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Knuckle Sandwich shows us how to fight boxing bees and giant noses

As most of your teenage or 20-something friends can probably tell you, working in food service isn’t exactly the most rewarding way to spend your time. Customers will yell at you for mistakes you didn’t make, your manager will ask you to work overtime just as you’re heading out the door, your coworkers will come in having skipped one too many showers, and you’ll have to clean up more than your fair share of mystery slimes throughout your illustrious career. But hey, when you get home, you can always relax with a nice videogame, right? Just turn it on, pick…

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1979 Revolution shows the nastier side of Iran’s historical uprising

1979 Revolution, the upcoming adventure game following the political revolution that took place that year in Iran, just got a new trailer. It’s the most in-depth look at the game we’ve seen so far, and it paints a desperate picture for both the country and the game’s photojournalist protagonist Reza Shirazi. Neutrality no longer seems a viable option The trailer opens in a small interrogation chamber with Shirazi in handcuffs and a prison jumpsuit, scratches and bruises marking his face. A menacing, clean-cut man wielding a club addresses him. “In a clear voice for the machine,” he explains, gesturing to…

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See how far Hyper Light Drifter has come before its arrival next week

Mad Max: Fury Road (2015) wasn’t a tough sell. It had audiences entranced from its first trailer. A desert slashed with muted yellows and clay reds set against a crisp aquamarine sky spoke for itself. The dies irae of Giuseppe Verdi’s “Requiem” was only there to make sure you never forgot. The first trailer for Hyper Light Drifter was different in almost every way, but the effect was the same. Alex Preston introduced his stylish action-RPG not with an apocalyptic bang but with the rhythmic chiptune meditations of a specialty Baths track. Grounded in Will Wiesenfeld’s introspective beat, Hyper Light Drifter wrapped its precious pixel art…

Thumper
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Thumper is also dragging virtual reality into its rhythm hell

Thumper is so fast. Like, holy shit, not even my eyes can keep up with whatever’s going on in the new trailer—how are my thumbs supposed to? This trailer, as you can watch below, is one minute of totally uninterrupted footage of Thumper at its more advanced stages. It’s like pushing your face up against a passing train. What you should be able to see is a chrome-coated space beetle grinding arse-ways against corners, hopping and fluttering above obstacles, and occasionally switching lanes. But what you might only be able to see is a light show moving at 1000 mph. This whole…

The Flame in the Flood
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The Flame in the Flood’s post-disaster journey begins on February 24th

Boy, videogames sure do want out of the narrow, crate-filled corridors of their youth, nowadays! First-person hiking simulator Firewatch has been receiving critical praise all week, in no small part because of its beautiful renditions of the American Northwest. Now The Flame in the Flood, a game about a little girl surviving a post-disaster America, is also striking out for the wilderness with a release date: it’ll be out on February 24th for Windows, Mac, and Xbox One. But it isn’t emotional hardship behind Scout, the young protagonist of The Flame in the Flood; it’s torrential rains, which will be…

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Jalopy will take you on a ramshackle road trip through the Eastern bloc

If the “racing game” is about the ticking clock, the turn rate, the time it takes to get from 0 to 60, maybe the “driving game” is about the little things—losing track of time on a long trip, deciding to stop at the next hotel, turning on your windshield wipers instead of your turn signal. Greg Pryjmachuk used to work with the folks who make more traditional racing games like DiRT (2007) and GRID (2008) and the F1 games, but now he’s making Jalopy (previously called Hac), which doesn’t look particularly “traditional” at all. The physicality of maintaining the car…

The Artful Escape of Francis Vendetti
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Prepare for an “artful escape” into the world of psychedelic folk singers

The weight of artistic expectations, particularly in the era of peak content and endless aggregation, can be crushing. A story about the next big thing and why you should care (what to expect when expecting an album?) lurks around every corner. While some reactions to this scenario are better than others, no sane person can be expected to react with utter nonchalance. This question of how an artist responds to these pressures is both the text and subtext of The Artful Escape of Francis Vendetti. Let’s start with the former. Developed by Beethoven & Dinosaurs, The Artful Escape follows Francis Vendetti,…

BreakVVVVVVOut
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What if all videogames were Breakout?

Pippin Barr is a stalwart example of a videogame scientist. He’s one of only a few who fit that title—people who constantly experiment with videogames, testing their boundaries, remixing their components, taking curious lines of thought to their furthest iteration. Take his latest as an example. Called Indie Bungle 2: Breakout Indies, it imagines for us the games that a “shitty cloning company” (specializing in clones of games to turn a profit and not, say, sheep or humans) would make had it only the technology to produce variations of Atari’s 1976 arcade classic Breakout. This idea didn’t come out of nowhere.…

Monarch Black
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Monarch Black to bring grace and lasers to the flight of a butterfly

It’s a shame Monarch Black isn’t more committed to going slow. When it does, as in the first 30 seconds of its trailer, it almost has an Ozu-like sense of the beauty in stillness (or, to be correct, a slow-tracking camera). We watch a butterfly, tiny in the widescreen demarcation of the frame, distant enough from us so that it is not more than a focal point for our journey through the game’s procedurally generated, alien wonderscapes. We pass by glowing pyramids and forests cold with blue; fractured tops of urban towers and spiraling architecture in the sky; Japanese blossom…