Entering Below’s deadly caves is not for the faint of heart

Below is about being small in a large, dangerous world. The game’s looming cave system dwarfs the player to little more than a speck on the screen, and its dark corners house hidden tripwires and pits that can lead to an early demise for those who are not careful. Characters only have a small pool of health which slowly bleeds out after being hit, and every enemy presents a threat. This player fragility is core to the game’s ideas of tension and adventure, but that does not mean that the player is left entirely defenseless. In the latest build of the…

Dear Esther

More people will soon be able to play The Chinese Room’s poetic videogames

Very soon, thousands more will have the opportunity to get lonely with a videogame in the most beautiful way. Yes, The Chinese Room is bringing both its poetic narrative games, Dear Esther (2012) and last year’s Everybody’s Gone to the Rapture, to new platforms—the former is coming to Xbox One and PlayStation 4, while the latter makes its way to PC. Other than a few pleasant additional touches, like a developer’s commentary for Dear Esther and a few bug fixes, the games will remain essentially unchanged. That means each of these games will, once again, invite you into their virtual…

Gone Home

Gone Home heads to consoles on January 12th with behind-the-scenes commentary

It’s fair to say that we’re quite fond of Gone Home. It was our Game of the Year when it came out for PC back in 2013. And its mark has been left not only on our own minds, but in those of other creators, with Gone Home‘s intimate exploration of household objects manifesting in various game narratives over the past two years. Of course, there’s more to it than that; the moment of genuine terror it manufactures, the homage to the 1990s and teen angst, its housing of one of gaming’s prominent queer relationships, exploring themes of aging and growing…


The infographics world of Metrico is being blown up for bigger screens

Metrico was released in August of last year as a PS Vita exclusive. A puzzle platformer from Dutch studio Digital Dreams, the game is set in a world of moving, living infographics. Colorful pie charts dot the landscape. Jutting line graphs become three dimensional mountains in the backdrop. Bar graphs rise and fall in accordance with your movements. “we want more people to enjoy the world we created”  In a genre rife with stylistic sameness, Metrico took an interesting approach, albeit with mixed reception. If there’s one thing that it certainly could have used more of, though, it’s this: availability! That’s…


Fragments of Him multiplies its tragedy to reflect how death affects us all

This is a complete coincidence, but a year ago—to this exact day—I reached into my gut to pull out feelings I’d forced to exist down there for a long time. Today, I’m doing the same, as I wrote about Fragments of Him then, and I’m doing the same now. It’s a first-person drama that explores how a guy’s death affects the people closest to him. For me, it’s a narrative with a personal sting, due to my two-year-old brother dying when I was four, and consequently having to watch as my parents somehow dealt with that for the next 20 or so years.…


Murder mysteries don’t get much stranger than this

Sign up to receive each week’s Playlist e-mail here! Also check out our full, interactive Playlist section. D4: Dark Dreams Don’t Die (PC, XBOX ONE)  BY ACCESS GAMES  Any argument in favor of the existence of cult videogame directors should probably start and end with SWERY. This excitable man from Osaka is one of the few directors that creates worlds based almost entirely on his own odd interests. His latest game, D4: Dark Dreams Don’t Die, is supposed to be a time-travelling murder mystery about an ex-detective searching for “D” on account of his wife’s last words. But along the way you end…


SUPERHOT shoot-dodging its way to Xbox One

Superhot is both the Matrix videogame we’ve dreamt of (naturally, whilst cradled in our biomechanical nutrient pods) and the best argument yet for the Oculus Rift. Meditative may be a stretch. Superhot is a pensive shooter. It slows you down. Like For Each Our Roads of Winter, Superhot invites you to take a moment, breath, and consider. It is not just running and gunning but doing so with the clarity of a Piet Mondrian painting. Its stark colors and minimalist architecture have certainly got us anxious to get our hands on it. Oh…and the katana. Now it’s poised to bring its time-bending gospel…