Gradient Addiction, by indie auteur Jake Clover, is a Unity-based exploration game in which you play, by his own description, “as a half robot guy with a backpack.” You fly around a strange and broken city on the edge of a precipice. The regular rules of physics don’t apply to you: you can fall from […]
Desert Dreamer is a short and sweet musical game by Derek Andes, made for the Mystical Western Game Jam hosted by Juegos Rancheros on itch.io. Or, to be more accurate, Andes describes his piece as being more of a “musical plant toy” than a game. In that sense, it’s reminiscent of other kinds of browser […]
Sacramento is a small game by French developer Dziff that, for lack of a better term, I’ll call a walking simulator. For some that reads as pejorative or dismissive of what the game has to offer—whether in its story, atmosphere, general aesthetic, or anything else that might resonate with a player—but I mean it as […]
Thoughts and Prayers: The Game is a political satire game that does exactly nothing, which is what it’s supposed to do. Brought to us by GOP Arcade, a newsgame development studio co-founded by Brian Moore, Chris Baker and Michael Lacher, Thoughts and Prayers: The Game was released in 2016 following the Orlando shooting that left […]
REPVBLIC’s Military-Industrial Complex attempts to pull off the notoriously difficult task of creating a trenchant, coherent and funny political satire in the context of a videogame. It resembles, in some ways, a Mason Lindroth game: aesthetically, it reflects that grainy black-and-white palette and texture typical of Lindroth, but in more of a topical, pop art […]
From a ludic point of view, Andrew Wang’s Shadow of the Red Hand is a fairly conventional platformer. It’s short, having been made in a weekend for Ludum Dare 35, and can be played in a matter of minutes, and it does what it’s supposed to. Entertain yourself for a spell by running right for […]
[TW: discussion of genocidal violence, exploitation] My body is nearly featureless and glowing like a light bulb. I think I’m tall; I’m definitely bald. My expression is fixedly placid, a little dreamy. I’m not sure if I’m some kind of ghost, but it feels ephemeral. Nothing feels particularly solid or permanent. The camera is generally […]
CUBEISM is a browser-based Unity game by Pat Stefaniak (a.k.a Sutopat) consisting of, as the itch.io page describes it, one cube and multiple cameras. It loads to a low thrumming drone, like the hum of a cathode ray tube, while in fact two grey cubes of equal size appear projected on a black background. Using […]
Joseph Parker’s An Evening of Modern Dance presents itself, at least at first glance, with all the self-serious trappings of the real form on which it’s based. The stage before you is dark, stark, with a mise en scène that’s empty save for the dancers and the spotlights trained on them. There’s a classic red curtain and an apron, and the wall-to-wall smoothness of Unity textures make the place feel unreal, serene, and ghostly, as if carved from clay and finely sanded.
I’ve done this review in the form of a visual poem. The game in question, by Team Tree, may be downloaded here. It can be played in minutes.