Browsing posts from: February 2020

“Lockheart Indigo” – by Harmless

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.

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‘The Last Day’ (Demo) – by Studio Kiku

Guy Debord argued in his 1967 work, La société du spectacle, that modern culture was subject to an ongoing impoverishment of authenticity, a controlled demolition of the boundaries that distinguish past and present in favor of the all-encompassing spectacle.

The Last Day is a dutiful exploratory adventure piece that illustrates this concept succinctly, presenting us with an experience that drives to the heart of how the bleak erasure of divisions between the personal and professional, even having lost within ourselves any sense of ownership over our private time, has affected us on a deeply scarring level. Through the sacrifice of unpaid labor and personal time upon the altar of The Commute, we cede our agency to uncaring concrete gods in hopes they will grant our meek wishes for modest fortunes in return.

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An endemic issue with 90s saccharine consumerism is how it erodes our moral compass, an effect none too dissimilar to what a hefty bowl of colourful breakfast cereal does to our teeth.

In much the same way those vivid dinosaur marshmallows you ate this morning aren’t sitting well with you, we’ve spent the past 20 years with a collective tummy ache learning that luxury commodities are a sometimes food best tempered by moderate consumption and responsible choices.

Thankfully, video games, the contemporary poster child of economic excess, may ironically offer us one of the best educational tools to train ourselves out of our unsustainable appetites.

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(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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Never AloneUpper One Games

There are seven billion people on this planet, and despite the internet shrinking this pale blue dot smaller than ever before, there are few experiences which truly unite us. However, one thing to which all of us can relate is the love of a pet, and 2014 puzzle platformer Never Alone (also known as Kisima Inŋitchuŋa) by Upper One Games highlighted exactly how important it can be.

Never Alone is based on the Inupiaq tale Kunuuksaayuka, and blends together puzzles, platform hopping, and atmospheric storytelling in a short but powerful adventure. In it, you play as an Inupiaq girl, Nuna, accompanied by her arctic fox as she wanders through the Alaskan tundra. The developers, Upper One Games, were the first video game company owned and run by indigenous people of the USA, a notable point that was much discussed at the time of the game’s release.

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(Content Warning: Detailed Discussions of Mental Health, Detailed Mentions of Alec Holowka’s passing, Crunch, Depression, Over-working)

It’s another podcast episode! Today, Emily sits down with Chris to talk about the somber topic of Mental Health, Toxic Masculinity from a men’s health perspective, and tragic events that have taken place in the public eye of the industry over the past few years.

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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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