Latest Blog Posts

by Scott Juster

16 Dec 2010

In an industry dominated by fast-paced shooters, streamlined RPGs, and instant-access mobile games, it is easy to see adventure games as niche or even archaic.  The slow-paced, obscure, single-solution puzzles that comprise most adventure games take patience.  The zany worlds of many popular adventure games, such as the Monkey Island and the Sam and Max series can make it seem like adventure games have a language all their own. 

Machinarium clearly follows in some old adventure game traditions.  But, by tweaking long standing conventions and combining them with novel artistic design and storytelling, it creates a unique identity for itself and the player.  Although it is set in a world populated by robots, Machinarium’s gameplay and aesthetic work together to tell a story about humanity.

by G. Christopher Williams

15 Dec 2010

You know the scene in the movie.  Our hero has just left something flammable or explosive behind.  He lights a cigar, enjoys a few puffs, then tosses the cigar over his shoulder.  As he strides slowly and indifferently away, an explosion of flames marks his passing.  Pretty cool, huh?

Countless movies have riffed on this cinematic image.  Richard Rodriguez’s Desperado, for instance, springs instantly to my mind, but there are countless others.  There is a certain cockiness on display in these scenes that develops the hero as a badass in such scenes that seems driven by a number of the details of such a performance.  Part of it is the cool and frequently slow walk away from the scene, part of it is that the hero never looks back at the destruction that he is responsible for.  As a result, we are left with an image of self-assured competence and professionalism on the part of the hero.  He is so certain of the outcome of his actions that he doesn’t even bother to check on his success and has no fear that the flames will reach him.  After all, he understands destruction so intimately and so consummately, why bother?

by Kris Ligman

14 Dec 2010

It’s been either a very affectionate or very cynical year in the field of independent games, with at least three single-named titles taking a spin with ol’ l’amour in 2010 alone.

My first review for this site back in July was on Alexander Ocias’s Loved, in which the past tense is used to signify guilt and manipulation of the player rather than the word’s more innocent connotations. Earlier in March, we saw the release of independent user-generated MMO Love from Eskil Steenberg, the painterly aesthetic of which much has been written. A final entry, unrelated to Steenberg’s, is the new flash game Love which has recently shown up on Kongregate from designer Contrebasse.

by G. Christopher Williams

13 Dec 2010

Bethesda’s latest iteration of the Fallout series offers Sin City as one of the last remaining beacons of hope in their postapocalyptic American Wastleland.  Despite the buggy quality of the game at release, many players still found themselves “all in” for this expansion of the retro-futuristic universe.

This week the Moving Pixels podcast crew discuss the subtleties of socialization, scrounging, and survival in New Vegas.

by Nick Dinicola

10 Dec 2010

Most of Metro 2033 takes place underground in the dilapidated tunnels of Russia’s metro system. Normally this would be a poor setting for a game since metro tunnels are by necessity a repetitive environment. However, while many big budget games take great pains to send the player all over the world during their single player story—to the snow level, the desert level, or the jungle level—Metro 2033 proves that such grand gestures aren’t necessary. Repetitive scenery isn’t repetitive if handled correctly, and Metro 2033 handles it correctly: The tunnels may stay the same but what fills those tunnels is very different; by contrasting the overpopulated metro stations with the desolate tunnels, the game creates a world that feels both claustrophobic and frighteningly empty.

//Mixed media

Because Blood Is Drama: Considering Carnage in Video Games and Other Media

// Moving Pixels

"It's easy to dismiss blood and violence as salacious without considering why it is there, what its context is, and what it might communicate.

READ the article