Yo fellow Gamers, what’s up? It’s ya boi here, and today we’re gonna look at the most heart pounding adrenaline pump’n’dump hidden gem we’ve ever played: DOOM: ETERNAL.
Browsing category: Reviews
Deep within the deserts of New Mexico and the salt flats of Utah lie monumental accomplishments of human will, structures defined by their relationship to the land and the human perception of the universe. These installations, such as the works of Nancy Holt (Sun Tunnels), Charles Ross (Star Axis), and Robert Smithson (Spiral Jetty), are colloquially known as Land Art, a genre that sits at the intersection of architecture, sculpture, and earthworks (the history of which is chronicled by James Crump in his documentary Troublemakers).
While all art requires the passage of time and years of perfecting the craft, Land Art is differentiated by the scale of both labor and duration of construction, often taking place over nearly geologic timescales, both in pre-planning to select the perfect geographic locale and the fabrication process itself. Architects, land surveyors, local governments, construction laborers, land owners, local communities, permits, and weather are merely a drop in the bucket in terms of considerations and obstacles that must be tackled before even breaking first ground.
(Content Warning: Domestic Disputes, Childhood Trauma)
A colorful rubber ball bounces past, immediately drawing your focus and illustrating the short lived nature of your fledgling autonomy against your newly formed limbic system. Play, at this point, is far more important than any budding sense of self-awareness.. such a vivid color, so squishy… it even bounces… You could toy with it for hours on end and never lose any satisfacti- Is that Mister Caterpillar? He’s so green…
Lurching towards the plastic green structure adorned with egg-shell colored “eyes” to provide animistic illusion, you fumble and fall over… you’re still getting the hang of this walking thing after all, that’s what mum keeps telling you at least.
A distant figure by the back yard gate catches your vision, an animal like silhouette announced with an audibly heavy breathing sound… is this a new friend you wonder. But before you can investigate this character, mum calls out to come inside to get ready for snacks, and the good child that you are you head in paying no mind to the mysterious new friend.
It was meant to be a simple case
Pay my rent, get me outta the rat race
But I’m starting to think I’m out of my depth
And it might just mean my horrible, untimely death
Trying to get out of here, but it’s no use
And for the love of God, the name’s not Pimplemoose!
Musicals are a time-honoured tradition in both theater and cinema, but sadly, the artform has seldom made the jump to video games. Dominique Pamplemousse by Squinky, however, happily bucks this trend with a foray into the even rarer musical noir subgenre. You control the titular gumshoe as they sing their way down the rabbit hole of a case full of intrigue, deception, delinquent landlords, autotuning, and brutal student debt.
[Content Warning: Discussions of abduction, murder, gore, and body horror]
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No Delivery by oates is a horror game with procedurally generated dungeon diving, a fantastic aesthetic, engaging combat with a focus on symbiotic resource management, and the occasional burst of dark humor that perfectly encapsulates the suffocating experience of working the night shift alone at a fast food establishment. Whether you’re cleaning tables, crawling through the ventilation shafts, or turning on the industrial walk-in microwave without adequately ensuring that it’s empty, every moment of its gameplay and atmosphere will leave you with a beautifully crushing sense of dread.
There’s a common trans experience of wishing you could see your future self, the self you want to be. This experience blossoms, over time, into the earnest wish that you could send your younger self a message in a bottle telling them how everything will change, and who they will become.
Watering a Flower by Lily Belmira is a perfect encapsulation of both sides of this experience, at once presenting a small, safe place for her younger self to seek out the wisdom and reassurance of her older self, nurturing them with kindness, understanding, and hope, while also allowing the older side of herself to reflect upon the events of her past and reify all of those precious memories eked away by time or necessity.
(CONTENT WARNINGS: Alcohol, Violence, Implied Drug Use, Implied Domestic Abuse, Mental Health)
The skeezy little rats under the bleachers smoke their cigarettes in blissful ignorance, not realizing the extractor fan is on full blast putting them on Mr. Mahoney’s war path. With Suzy nowhere to be found, you’re stuck playing errand boy for the jokers, wannabes, and wall-flowers, slowly drip-fed a goose chase for your high school sweetheart.
Icy cold glares of passersby cut through the gaps of the iron palisades as you walk down the brick road path that leads to the grand entrance. Once in a while you catch a glimpse of hidden emotion on the face of the staff- grief, guilt, shock, something has shattered the peace so suddenly that no one, not even the family estate, knows quite how to react. For a moment, you’re sure that one of the robots might even be crying… actually, nevermind, I think that’s just machine oil.
Whatever they may be feeling, they’re all suspects and you’re no therapist, you’re a private eye named Beatris Summers. When the killer is hiding in plain sight, you can only rely on evidence, quick wits, and nerves of steel, just don’t forget that everyone is a piece in play, whether pawns or queens.
(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.
(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.