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by G. Christopher Williams

13 Jan 2016


After completing Metal Gear Solid V, I went hunting for some explanation of why the second half of the game appeared to be so chock-a-block and unfinished and why the game features so many endings. While figuring that out, I got the impression (though I could be wrong, I didn’t read deeply enough to see if that was universally the case) that a number of players were not that happy with the “Truth” ending of the game.

Bizarre and outlandish as that ending is, it seemed to me personally to be the perfect ending to Hideo Kojima’s work on this series of games, as it does bring his epic series full circle, connecting this final game he will work on to the very first game that he created in the series from the perspective of the full arc of his storylines, but more importantly to me, it is thematically consistent with Kojima’s universe.

by G. Christopher Williams

12 Jan 2016


Republique is an episodic stealth game. Originally released on iOS, it has made its way to Steam as well.

Republique is a game set in a surveillance state, the titular “Republique”, and its stealth mechanics are driven by a simple interface in which the player doesn’t so much control the main character of the game, a young girl named Hope, but instead takes control of cameras and views Hope through them. You can instruct Hope about where she should move and where she should hide by “looking ahead” of her, leap frogging from camera to camera throughout a government facility and making strategic decisions on the basis of the information gleaned from the cameras. It is the system being used against itself.

by Nick Dinicola

8 Jan 2016


Prune is an iOS game about trimming and shaping a bonsai tree as it grows, angling it out of the shade and into the sun, so that it can bloom. It’s a simple premise that gets wonderfully tricky at times, with your tree twisting around obstacles like a snake. What’s even more wonderful, though, is the wordless, visual storytelling that emphasizes hope, life, and the beauty of little victories against overwhelming darkness.

by Scott Juster

7 Jan 2016


If you’ve spent any time in the modern software world, you’ve probably chased that elusive concept of “delight.” Whether you’re making an enterprise analytics suite or a twitter client, it’s not enough that your tool simply performs its function or even that it’s conventionally beautiful. You want people to be happy when they use it. 

It’s the reason that you hear the little pops when tapping around from icon to icon in the Facebook mobile app or why refreshing your feed is done by tugging downward until new items pop up. The motions made to accomplish these things are fairly intuitive, but they’re also feature little aesthetic touches that please some very basic corner of your brain.

by G. Christopher Williams

6 Jan 2016


Image of a Terra Mystica board from Boardgamegeek.com

When it comes to tabletop board gaming, I currently have a crush on Jens Drögemüller’s and Helge Ostertag’s Terra Mystica. Terra Mystica is a strange creature of sorts as far as the strict definition of a Eurogaming goes. In board gaming circles European board games (as opposed to American board, also known to hardcore board gamers as Ameritrash games) are known for being light on thematic and narrative elements and heavier and more focused on the systems and mechanics that define the game’s play.

In regard to many of its systems, Terra Mystica does seem like a Eurogame. However, it has a fantasy theme (highly unusual for a Euro) and it has players take on the roles of different fantasy races, each with different abilities, strengths, and weaknesses. Such potential for lack of balance is more common to often more thematically oriented American games in which playing out a role is often more important than absolute fairness and balance.

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