cybercity
News

New visual novel should satisfy your lo-fi cyberpunk dreams

New York City has a clichéd nickname: The City that Never Sleeps, referring to the restlessness of nightlife in the city. Similar is the metropolis in the newly released Cyber City 2157: The Visual Novel, as it also never sleeps. But that’s because the sun never sets. Night never comes to toss its dark cloak over the city. The City (capitalized, as it is a character in itself) remains bright, shining, always ready to adventure—it doesn’t sleep because it doesn’t get a chance to. And you, the player, are tasked with navigating all its parks, suburbs, cemeteries, and even dreams. Created…

The Mind's Eclipse
News

A grungy machine-age videogame prioritizes storytelling over difficulty

In The Mind’s Eclipse, players will take on the role of Jonathan Campbell, a scientist who wakes up to find that he’s seemingly the only person left alive in the ruins of a fallen utopia known as the CORE. His only companion is an AI known as L, who is just as mysterious as her single-lettered name suggests. Jonathan must rely on her as he explores the world he finds himself in, in an attempt to find his loved ones. The game is a visual novel that touts emotional and intense narrative moments. As team lead Donald Campbell explains, the story told by The…

samantha-bed
News

Visual novel has you experience the harrowing reality of social anxiety

I never lived in the dorms at my old university. But I have had my fair share of semi-unpleasant roommates. The scariest part of social anxiety, at least in my personal battle with it, is that it can stem from being thrust into a room with complete strangers, or even just being in the midst of any old acquaintance. In one particular apartment I lived in, a roommate of mine lived in a curtained-off living room. She was sensitive to noise, particularly if myself or the friend I shared a room with came home in the dead of the night…

Solace State
News

Look out for Solace State, a game about ideological division in a daunting sci-fi city

The world of Solace State opens up before me, its buildings cross-cut and becoming transparent as Chloe, a “woman of many [identities] who gets caught up in a journey of dissent, deception and redemption” navigates a foreign, 21st century cosmopolitan city-state. “An isometric camera cuts in, and you’re hacking into the building,” says Tanya Kan, the lead designer and founder of Vivid Foundry as she demonstrates Solace State for me. “It’s a way of depicting open-societies, or of trying to reveal more of the world.” As 2D art is overlaid on 3D environments, I’m reminded of origami: detailed, delicate, intricate. Compartmentalized facets combining…

Solstice
Review

Solstice leaves its best mysteries unsolved

In the eighth episode of The X-Files, agents Fox Mulder and Dana Scully are dispatched to investigate radio silence at a science outpost in Icy Cape, Alaska. There they discover a parasite—because it’s always a parasite—that makes its host hyper-violent. Suspicion and fear threaten to tear the team apart as they search for answers. In the knick of time because it’s always in the knick of time—reason and rationality prevail, temporarily giving order to the chaos and showing our protagonists a way forward in their eternal search for the truth. Solstice similarly follows the first-person accounts of Galen, a doctor,…

weknowthedevillead
News

It’s Sailor Moon vs. the Devil in this horror story about pre-internet queerdom

Growing up as a queer kid in a rural, religious area can be a challenge. As you’re shuffled from church event to church event, it can be easy to feel stifled, especially if your folks are the evangelical type. Certain types of media can provide a momentary escape from that, such as the bombastic view into another culture that is anime, but in the end, it always seems like you lose a bit of yourself to the darkest part of a society that makes you feel like you have to hide who you really are. We Know the Devil, a…