Browsing posts from: Emily Rose

Tread softly.

For Give, recently released by Thana Orchard, is an imaginative exploration of the undercurrents that often carry many of us away in the ebb and flow of our day to day lives.

It’s a humble meditation on the destructive nature of thoughtless clumsiness, a reflective analysis of what it means to grow self-aware of one’s flaws and how to come to terms with the unintentional disruption we visit upon our environment.

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Theaters are a strange place, with more trace amounts of bodily fluids than you’d care to imagine and an extensive residue of human suffering from years of poor treatment of staffers. If psychic impressions were a petri dish for the metaphysical, then it makes one wonder what grows on the sugary, artificial butter-coated sticky floors and cracked plaster behind the foggy glass of the popcorn machine.

Throw in the high intensity of the countless emotions felt across the entire spectrum during showings, and theaters turn into a putrid spiritual cauldron of the psyche, the perfect place to manifest something from another world; a portal into the realm of the subconscious.

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(CW: Suicide, Self-harm, Vehicular Accidents, Mild Gore)

Dissolving (known in Russian as Исчезая) is a pleasant little bilingual visual novel by studio Flying Whale. Inspired by internet folk tales and post-digital-utopian cyber fiction of the early 2000s, Dissolving is a healthy dose of metaphysical skepticism.

As our zeitgeist trends towards cynicism of, and disbelief in, technological progress as a shared social project, more and more people begin to question if anyone, or anything, is at the wheel of this thing; Dissolving plants its thesis firmly in this knowledge gap, enticing you to learn more, at horrific cost.

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The crunch of autumn leaves underfoot, a campfire, a lonely tent- it’s the makings of either a good time or a horrific experience depending on where one dares to make camp.

Created for the PS1 Haunted Halloween Game Jam of 2018 (known for the infamous Siren Head tribute piece by Modus Interactive, who we’ve covered before here and here) by Breogán Hackett, Perennial is a deep dive into an open world forest that holds many secrets close to its naturalistic bosom, beckoning you to cautiously explore and discover them.

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Chile is known for many things, great wine, great food, being extremely and ridiculously long, and a thriving indie developer scene. After ACE Team put them on the map with Rock Of Ages, new-indie-on-the-block Octeto Studios comes up with a unique take on the squad management genre through a self-described tech-noir lens: CyberOps

Delightfully wearing it’s influences on it’s sleeves,
CyberOps takes heavy inspiration from Yoji Shinkawa’s work in the late 90s playstation era. Octeto has done great work in characterizing a near-future scenario, injecting it with plenty of virtual reality (as we knew it in the 90s) flavor, such as the gorgeous overworld map that evokes the design of beloved doomsday simulator Defcon and other influential PC titles.

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To engage with art is one matter, but to make yourself the centerpiece is another one entirely. Exhibitionism is an experience by Dja that ruminates on how we often find ourselves, as opposed to the art that we create, at the center of attention of others.

Art galleries have a strange aura to them, as if they’re a sort of banquet or feast which begs the question, what exactly is on the menu? Exhibitionism tackles the strange masquerade of guarding your intentions while flagrantly expressing your desires; ruminating upon the cacophony of the unusual, unique lengths people go to in order to seek recognition, even at the cost of those around them.

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Some serious Dark Forces 2: Jedi Knight fueling station vibes

DUSK was an exceptionally lovable game with some fancy footwork, the kind of game that sets the bar very high and makes it hard to welcome the next thing down the list with open arms. After grabbing a zappy trident and giving the game a fair shake, I have nothing to say about New Blood’s new publication, Amid Evil, other than how much I utterly, unapologetically love every minute of it.

The whoop-whoop-bing of running down a skewed line of powerups, the beloved ice-scepter… mace… thing that’s effectively the closest you’ll find to a spear shotgun… Amid Evil just asks that you lay waste to baddies as effectively as possible in some of the most vividly colorful environments I’ve seen in a long time. Is it a game? No, it’s absolutely a work of art that leverages every second of abstract geometry and offensively perplexing pathfinding while you plow through exceptionally creative enemy designs and some of the most satisfying tools of destruction this side of Maximum Action.

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not exactly something you can slip into a .zip file

Vampire The Masquerade: Bloodlines is an interesting game with a lot of… quirks. Something overlooked is how the game’s style rapidly pivots between the weirdly cartoonish and the plausibly realistic. One can expect to see Dishonored-style facial composition one moment; nigh-photographic portrayals of characters the next. The environments, too, are no exception. From a design perspective, the levels give some real insight on how to capture the zeitgeist and feeling of a place, weaving a visual buffet where only a few things are tactically edible. So, let’s craft some hauntology, shall we?

As I continue my first playthrough (yes, shameful, having had the game for ages yet hardly taking the time to fully sit down with it at length past the beginning Santa Monica drudge) I will be doing a few short writeups on my thoughts and experiences throughout.

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