White Night is a striking game to look at. It’s all black and white with hard shadows to give shapes definition, like a Sin City panel come to life. At first, the game seems to contain the perfect combination of art and story.White Night is a tale in the tradition of noir, but about a haunted house. Its hard shadows hide the violent ghosts of an angry mother, and its light streams from the protective ghost of an innocent lover. It’s a beautiful and haunting game to look at, but it’s a rather annoying game to play. And it’s annoying largely due to its beautiful and haunting art.
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One year ago I started what turned into a “season” of Mario Kart 8, complete with gameplay tweaks and paid downloadable content (DLC). It’s the first time I’ve played a Nintendo game that has bought into the “long-tail” content and add-on strategy that is so prevalent in the large publisher space. Instead of a capsule frozen in time, Mario Kart 8 got something similar to the season pass and map pack treatment. The question is: how did this work out?
I read an interview with John Carmack, the creator of Doom, some time ago in which he was asked what was the most important element of the success of Doom, the game that essentially soldered down the centrality of the first person shooter to American video gaming culture. His response was simple: speed.
What Romero said that what he set out to do with Doom was to create the fastest gameplay experience that he possibly could, and anyone who has played the game should easily understand this explanation. The player’s role in Doom is to essentially play as a roving gun platform, a really, really fast roving gun platform, that simply massacres monsters en masse and as fast as possible.
Last October on our Halloween themed episode, we briefly alluded to a 20 minute indie horror point-and-click game by Owl Creek Games called Sepulchre.
We admired the game for its moody tone and understated horror, but it seemed too brief an experience to devote a whole podcast to. With the release of The Charnel House Trilogy, Owl Creek decided to build upwards and outwards from that central story into a new triptych of tales in which Sepulchre serves as the centerpiece.
A maze with dots. That’s about all it was, just a maze filled with dots.
You earned points for eating those dots. You were rewarded with a new level for eating all of the dots.