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 […]
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 […]
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.
2015 was a strange and not altogether good year for games (among other things). But, if nothing else, it offered up so many great little gems that I had to stop myself from letting this year’s roundup grow to unmanageable proportions.
[TW: This piece contains a reference to suicide and self-harm. Also, spoilers abound as always.] Homesickened is a cruel and beautiful game. In it, the player must embody the fixed, first-person role of an unnamed protagonist visiting their hometown for the first time in what I interpret to be a long time. The player begins with a […]