Latest Blog Posts

by Nick Dinicola

17 Jul 2015


In any puzzle-like game the hints or helpful bonuses must doled out on a timer or players are likely to abuse the system. In mobile games, the hints are usually placed behind 30 second advertisements, using our natural hatred of advertising as a safeguard against abuse. It’s a natural fit.

Even a natural fit like this can be ruined by overzealousness, though. Too many ads punish a player who’s already stuck and frustrated. Yet as with everything in life, there’s a way to do it wrong and a way to do it right. It all comes down to presentation and pacing.

by Jorge Albor

16 Jul 2015


What does Gotham city mean to you? I have been asking myself this question lately as I play through Batman: Arkham Knight. I spend most of my time gliding around from above, doing my best to avoid boring vehicle gameplay, so I guess Gotham city is its skyscrapers. Or maybe Gotham is the ant-like swarm of enemies populating its streets in endless supply. Or maybe its villains, who have seemingly agreed to carve up the city into their own bite-size portions of malevolence. I suspect all of these are unsatisfying answers.

A sense of place, that ephemeral subjective quality, can be so hard to describe. It shifts and blurs, a combination of emotions, history, politics, and geography. A sense of place can be, at the same time, personal yet collective. For example, I know what Northern California means to me. It is rocky shorelines, vineyards, redwoods, day laborers, and tired hands, among other things. I struggle to understand Gotham city with the same clarity. Why is that?

by Erik Kersting

15 Jul 2015


The Witcher 2: Assassins of Kings (Warner Bros. Interactive, 2011)

Sex is a natural part of life, and, thus, it is a natural part of art.

In fact the earliest works of art, like the Venus of Willendorf are sexual in nature. So it really should not be a surprise to anyone, from Jack Thompson to Hillary Clinton, that sex would find its way into a video game. While some video games that contain overt sexuality are lewd in nature, like Leisure Suit Larry, not every game with explicit sexual content is like this. The Mass Effect series, The Witcher series, and the Knights of the Old Republic series all consist of narrative based games that feature sex to varying degrees, but in these games, the sexual content is only one part of a much larger game.

by Eric Swain

14 Jul 2015


Last week on the Moving Pixels podcast, I said that I would check out the second episode of The Detail. While I wasn’t wild about the first episode, the game had peaked enough of my interest to warrant peeking in a second time to see whether or not it sorted itself out in the second episode. It was trying to hold itself up to a rather high standard, even if it didn’t seem like it quite had the chops behind it to reach that standard. Still, I would love to see The Detail even make some small strides towards that lofty goal.

Well, since recording the podcast, I have given the second episode, “From the Ashes”, its due. In its wake, I find myself feeling much the same as I did at the end of the first episode. I’m not wild about it, but I am willing to give it one more episode to see if it manages to become something better than it presently is and something closer to what it actually wants to be.

by Nick Dinicola

10 Jul 2015


I like mobile games. There, I said it.

I play a lot of games on my iPhone, some of which I’ve paid for and some of which are free because they feature ads. I actually don’t mind the ads, and this seems to put me in a very small minority. At least, it seems like what feels like a very small minority based on the vitriol that I see and that I hear online whenever “ads” of any kind are mentioned. I don’t get the general hate (I can stand to look up from my phone for 30 seconds and acknowledge the world around me before going back to ignoring it). Though, as with all things, there are both pleasant experiences online along with nuisances. Skiing Yeti Mountain is one of the former, a free iOS game supported by ads that actually made me smile when it tried to sell me stuff.

//Mixed media
//Blogs

Speak of the Blue Devil: The Moody Grooves of Andy Kayes

// Sound Affects

"Andy Kayes' latest album of mercurial hip-hop finds the rapper putting the boom back in boom bap, one beat at a time.

READ the article