Notes on Hell: Hello Dad, I’m in Jail. I Like it Here. It’s Nice.

Hell  by ahintoflime is a point-and-click adventure about being dead. I know there are a healthy handful of underworld simulators—from the obvious Diablo to the lesser-known The Midnight Station—but Hell is worth a mention for its gameplay and visual style as well as for many of the themes running through it.  Hell is depicted as […]



Notes on Gone Vroom: Running Over an Indie Darling

Gone Vroom by Jon Remedios is a mod of Gone Home with a few minor changes here and there. To begin with, Gone Vroom shortens the game significantly, so much so that everything beyond unlocking the front door is shaved off. The other thing probably worth mentioning is that Gone Home’s protagonist, Kaitlin, has been […]

Finding Comfort

cw: this piece contains some discussion of grief, depression and suicidality.   I started out by playing comfort zone, but as it turned out I had started in the middle. Or, at least I think that’s where I started. Developer spacepuppy has, over the last couple of months, released 4 games. In chronological order, they […]



Notes on Eye Poppers: Delight in the Grotesque

Eye Poppers by Espion Games slots easily into the “time-waster” category of free-to-play browser games. But that’s alright, because it doesn’t aspire to much more, and contained little projects like these can be enticing omens for a developing artist. Playable right now on the game’s page, Eye Poppers takes only a few minutes to […]

Notes on Glimby: Large, But Squishy

Glimby is a green, gelatinous being who can grow and shrink in size at will like a kaiju, swears like a sailor, and might be immortal. Glimby is also the name of her very own game, brought to us by veteran game designer stephen thecatamites and playable in your browser in minutes. On a mint-green […]



Notes on Crisis Theory: An Unmanageable Resource Sim

Crisis Theory by Colestia, also known as Australia’s own David Cribb, is a kind of resource management game that subverts every assumption we’re taught to make about resource management games. The game is essentially a capitalism sim represented as a flow chart. Each node in the chart represents some part of the chain of production, […]

Notes on POST/CAPITALISM: The Base and The Superstructure

POST/CAPITALISM by Colestia (a.k.a David Cribb) is, in short, an inverted resource management sim . Or, it might be more accurate to describe as a kind of socialist SimCity, as Heather Alexandra did at Kotaku. Both approach the underpinning ethic of the game, which, unlike most games of the genre, doesn’t take hours upon hours to complete. This […]



Notes on It’s As If You Were Doing Work: Do Nothing, Feel Fine

Pippin Barr’s It’s As If You Were Doing Work is a browser game set in the near-future, when robots will have finally and completely replaced the human labour force. The speculative browser game satirizes the interface of a Windows 95-era workplace desktop, complete with the operating system sound effects. Through the medium of a desktop UI simulation, […]

Gaming on the Fringe: 2017 Roundup

2017 was a remarkably hectic year for many, and 2018 will likely match or surpass its pace. Not surprisingly, I found it difficult to justify focusing, as I do, on fringe, alternative games, and hard to keep up my old enthusiasm for seeking out works that get little play even in my own professional milieu. […]



Notes on Dinner with An Owl: A Charmingly Creepy Caper

In Dinner with An Owl, you play as a dapper young businessman by the name of Mr. Webb. Or sometimes you play as Mr. Doyle, or Mr. Wright. The name depends on the day, but it’s immaterial. Things almost always play out the same way. You’re welcomed to the charming, cozy Victorian estate of one […]