Notes on Rainstorm EP: Comforting Gaming Experiences

I was recently sent a pre-release copy of Rainstorm EP released by Ice Water Games, a small development collective consisting of thirteen members and which is run as a nonprofit*, or as they describe it on their site, “a democratically run games label […] controlled collectively by the membership.” Their games are each made by […]

Notes on Signed by ’89: Stuck in the Groove

Signed by ‘89 by Tim Knauf is a short, comedic adventure game made in virtual console PICO-8 for #LOWREZJAM2018. It follows the story of Petra, the guitarist of a four-person rock band who, along with bandmates Jen (vocalist) and Vin (drummer), has revived the group in the hopes of getting signed before the end of […]

Notes on Embrace: Reaching for Air

Embrace is a short browser game by developer Trasevol_Dog, in their tool of choice, PICO-8. This tool is a virtual console that uses a programming language called Lua, and is ideal for making small, straightforward, “retro”-looking games that might make you reminisce about old Atari, NES or arcade games. Embrace brings that element to the […]

Notes on Flamingo Quest: Squawking with the Best of Them

I won’t mince words; Flamingo Quest by TheWaether is extremely my shit. It’s a short, standalone game set in “Top-Secret Neon-Pink Planet Universe” a domain created by the developer made of chunky, low-poly graphics and contrasting pink and blue pastel colours. Flamingo Quest looks like an old PlayStation game, and sort of feels like one […]

Notes on The Shape on the Ground: Spooky Fortune Cookie

The Shape on the Ground by somewhat is a very theatrical Rorschach test. The language in the two guides for the game (one for patients, one for practitioners), describes it as a kind of psychological evaluation test, but there is no clinic, nurses, doctor, or for that matter, people. The background bears a menacing red […]

Notes on The Secret of Dank Mountain: Ironic Climbing Simulator

The Secret of Dank Mountain by adamgryu is a game best played stoned. A PC Gamer blurb about the game is quoted in bold at the very top of its page as reading, “I don’t get what’s so dank about this pleasant mountain range.”  Ah, I’ve solved your problem. Dank Mountain resides in the […]

Notes on New Ice York: Let’s Do Crimes!

New Ice York is a short adventure role-playing game by developer magicdweedoo. Set in a speculative near-future where New York City has mysteriously frozen over, the game follows the investigative efforts of a man we know only as “Detective”, and the city’s “Top Agent.” The game is reminiscent in structure to better-known works in the […]

Notes on Perfectly Ordinary Ghosts: Shadow on a Pale Wall

Perfectly Ordinary Ghosts is a “domestic horror interactive fiction”, according to its writer, Victoria Smith. Together with editor Madeleine Mackenzie, Smith delivers a gothic horror through the medium of Twine. Simple and relatively quick to play, Perfectly Ordinary Ghosts keeps it classic both in its application of Twine as a tool for building interactive fiction […]

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 […]