It’s a very bleak metaphor for the daily life of commuters when you think about it, why must our ambitions demolish our stamina into a fine powdered mash by which we brew our dreams using our hot scalding tears? No time for big questions, no time for even longer answers, YOU have places to be, people to meet, and Coffee Gets You There.
Fighting games are one-in-a-million. Let me save both our time and, instead of listing a bunch of them, just say there’s a lot. There’s a million flavours, ranging from your stock-standard 2D one-on-one fare, those featuring depth with which to circle your opponent, brawlers, party-friendly group fighters, and so on. But, how many of them allow you to pilot massive crustaceans in a brutal fight to the death?
It’s hard to know what to make of the weird gold rush of FMV games during the early 90s; rail shooters weren’t exactly popular outside of arcades. At the time, it probably seemed like an obvious choice to combine the digital powerhouse of cutting-edge special effects with interactive media like games… until it flopped, hard. Enter ROCKET SCIENCE GAMES, a company that, no joke, literally employed Elon Musk at one point.
I sit on the side of I-5, the main highway running between Seattle and Portland. It’s nearly 19:00, the sun is quickly setting, and the wind has taken a sinister chill. My car sits, hazards flashing, on the shoulder in front of me. I’m flipping between tabs on my phone: my bank account, nearby mechanics, and quotes for towing companies to get me and the car back to my friend’s place. The bank account is thinner than I’d like, the mechanics are all closed, and the tow is going to drain me of the rest of my funds regardless of who does it. With a stiff gust breaking on my back, my hair flung into my face, I realize that this whole ordeal has a striking resemblance to my time spent with Jalopy.
Genre fusion is something of a mainstay in the indie scene as of late, after all, what better way to revitalize a now-defunct style of game than injecting it with some vigor from another genre? Most prominent is the trend of rogue-ifying something; platformers, FPS, RPGs, and so on. But before this was ever cool, there was the 1990 now-cult-classic ActRaiser. Featuring a blend between action platforming stages a la Castlevania as well as god-game style simulation like that of Populous, players were treated to a unique SNES title that threaded a line between frenetic, fast-paced gameplay and much slower, thoughtful creation and town planning.
Enter SolSeraph, ACE Team’s (@theACETeam) 2019 ActRaiserinspired action-platforming tower defense god-game. It’s important to note the addition of “tower defense” to that concoction; while SolSeraph follows in the footsteps of its sister game, offering a balance between 2.5D side scrolling segments and isometric/top-down city creation, it also lavishes the player with waves of enemies attacking your city. This new mechanic drastically changes the game as a whole and makes it stand out from its predecessor, offering more than a simple retreading of the ground ActRaiser has already well covered.
A cracking sound penetrates the calm atmosphere and gentle darkness, a ray of hazy blue light breaks through the shell’s newformed gaps. Your fledgling eyes adjust to an ancient world, and a wise elder gazes on in sympathy with a small word of advice.
With no bearings, only an inner yearning to explore the horizon, you embark on your blurry-eyed journey. It will be tiresome, a test of your patience, but worry not young and weary traveler: life is both harder and easier than it seems.
You hear something out of the ordinary from the hallway, or rather, you hear nothing – definitely not ordinary. Thank God you were in the kitchen when you didn’t hear it; with a blade fast at hand and a veritable lifetime of experience chopping vegetables, you head out into the mansion to see what’s making all that silence
These are the first few tentative steps into the beautiful nightmare that is Phantom Rose, a procedural turn-based adventure card game by developer makaroll. If my flawless riffle shuffle and love of Lisa: The Painful are any indication, there are two easy ways to win my heart: card games and complicated but rewarding status effect systems, both of which Phantom Rose provides in droves.
Often in life we become trapped by the things important to us, our love, our careers, our ambitions. Painted into a corner, our desires and commitments turn into the very cages we fear, only gilded with gold.
Like a Good Canary, we must sing to please our benefactors, employers, loved ones, audiences, and friends. Will we remain frozen in place by our machinations, or is there a way out of here and towards a life past the confines?
After Ragnarok, with all the Gods dead, Yggdrasil slowly bleeds dry. In a last-ditch effort, it calls forth the souls of the strongest women from history to undergo the challenge of the Neverinth, an ever-shifting labyrinth that, when conquered, will grant the champion who survives its halls the title of Valkyrie. Here, you enter as one of these women and must face down the hordes of evil lurking within its twisted halls.
The relaxing radio music cuts to a report of a Russian Attack Submarine off course in the pacific. You’re sitting in your living room as the muddy audio of the TV drones on, and now anxiety starkly washes over you.
Is it just another false alarm? Will anything come out of it this time?
(Content Warning: Doomsday scenarios and the associated nihilistic topics.)