RE:BIND

Browsing category: Indienoculars

(Content Warning: Existential Dread, Death, Epilepsy triggering VFX warning)

There is a friction, a loud churning in my skull whenever I hear the words “Interactive Fiction”, my sensory nodes become disrupted, my enthusiasm modules go cold, and my fingers seize up as the cursor hovers over the application. My mind’s eye starts to blur, I lose interest and my sense of disbelief, and whatever drive I had to progress through the most luminary works of our time goes temporarily quiet.

……… Support systems flicker on, I receive a strange transmission in my email inbox with a subject header… “Lysogenesis“.. An electrical impulse fires somewhere deep within me, and the reflective surface of my eyes go white.

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Inscryption (2021) – By Daniel Mullins Games

Last year we indulged in the macabre joy of Sacrifices Must Be Made, a rough gem prototype from Pony Island Creator Daniel Mullins that we came across while scouring game jam entries.

Part Darkest Dungeon, Part Hand Of Fate, the original prototype was built around a simple yet addicting head-to-head card battle game that I’ve been unable to satiate my cravings for outside of the deeply riveting Phantom Rose. This time however, Inscryption is going to have a lot more going for it than just the core formula, revisiting the concept with new features and a narrative driven focus.

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Just, Bearly‘ by Daniel Roberts

(Content Warning: discussions of anxiety, mental health)

It’s difficult to find games that address anxiety in a way that isn’t demoralizing, dehumanizing, or both.

Just, Bearly‘ avoids many tropes of the shy awkward protagonist narrative, instead approaching it with an earnest humility that passionately demonstrates the ways strangers intimidate us, without being overly resentful, resorting to dehumanizing story beats, or ascribing ulterior motives to everyone around our hero.

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Driving games have a sort of uncategorizable mystique, which has over the years come in myriad flavors. Something about the experience of driving, or perhaps its situational surrounds, serves as a passage ritual, representing a journey not merely through space but also through the psyche.

The Interlude, on the other hand, self-identifies as an anti-thriller and is all about the space between those dramatic highs and lows found elsewhere, it is the eye through which we needle our narrative thread.

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Red Desert Render‘ – by Ian MacLarty

The American West is not exactly a unique landscape given the ubiquity of Eurowesterns like Western All’Italiana or Osterns, which were Soviet produced films imbued with alternative underlying political subtext to counter capitalism’s individualistic narratives.

Yet despite the inexplicable fixation the global imagination has for of the genre’s impact on our culture having redefined our perspective of Cinema endures to a point of spilling over into video games long past parody.

Enter Red Desert Render.

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Back in 2003, Hideo Kojima helmed a new project; the first non-Metal Gear title since the release of Policenauts in 1994. It was a bizarre spin on the unique properties of a handheld console, taking advantage of its mobility by nestling a photometric light sensor in the game cartridge. It was called Boktai: The Sun Is In Your Hand, a GameBoy Advance title centered around a vampire hunter named Django. It blended the stealth-action many had come to expect from Kojima, but played it against an isometric angle and utilized actual, real-world sunlight as the source to recharge your weaponry.

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Painting has never been something I’ve had much skill with. My attempts have always hedged towards embarrassing, with shaky brushstrokes and deeply flawed translations of the image I have in mind to the canvas in front of me. Nonetheless, I understand the merits of the craft and can appreciate the dedication even a single painting requires of its creator. Every colour carefully chosen to resonate with those around it, shapes drawn just so, layers of iteration and happy accidents synthesizing into one cohesive piece that blooms in front of the viewer; a collage of abstractions that coalesce into beauty.

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Wandering a closed loop of an island, a hidden quest lays scattered about the surreal sights of this lonely mass. Your only choice: poke and prod the surrounds until something happens. Slowly, knowledge is amassed, and a eureka moment strikes! A flurry of activity as disparate elements click together, finally approaching new heights… And plateau. A new challenge lay before you, the culmination of all your epiphanies revealing further unknowns. Will you ever find an escape from this place?

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You And The Night‘ WIP Demo – by Matthias Jensen

“Never judge a book by its cover” so the phrase goes- a piece of wisdom that normally offers a lot of insight, but sometimes you run into a gem that throws conventional wisdom out the window. Despite having very little gameplay thus far, You and The Night feels absolutely worth bringing your attention to.

In many ways, it’s distinctly reminiscent of what you might get if you dropped today’s retro horror craze into the rusty blender of an old diner at the edge of town with some David Lynch VHS tapes.

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