Her Story makes use of well known storytelling tool. It uses a representation of its own medium to construct a narrative. Like a play within a play or a movie about a movie, Her Story is a computer program in which you navigate a facsimile of an old research operating system and research data base in the hopes of solving a mystery. The computer imagery is very strong, right down to the color palette and arcane noises made by the simulated machine. In fact, it’s so strong that it creates dissonance between the way a real computer would work and the way the game needs it to work.
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If you haven’t ever not played There Is No Game, I would recommend not clicking on this link to not play that non-game, as this article will slightly spoil There Is No Game. Oh, it will also kind of spoil the Sesame Street Little Golden Book classic The Monster at the End of this Book.
It is no surprise to me that There Is No Game was the winner of the recent DeceptionJam sponsored by Scirra, the maker of a game development program called Construct 2. The rules of this GameJam were to create a game using Construct 2 that presented the theme of “deception” in some fun and engaging way. There Is No Game seems like it had to be a shoe in for the top prize, as it is a clever and witty little “non-game.”
Time has a way of changing one’s opinions. A year and a half ago I reviewed Dark Souls 2, and I gave it a perfect 10. A few months after the review, I played through the game again, and even more recently, I started yet another run. Exploring the game’s damp corridors, I couldn’t help but ask myself, “Is this a perfect game?” Is it a good game? Positively. A great game? Probably. A perfect game? No.
I was undeniably hyped to play Dark Souls 2. Dark Souls is probably my favorite game, but in my excitement in playing Dark Souls 2, I too easily overlooked its flaws, which, once fully explored, reveal clearly how the lack of Hidetaka Miyazaki, director of Dark Souls and Bloodborne, lead to some small, but significant errors. These are errors that gnaw on the player and bring down the experience, especially upon replay.
Following up on our recent discussion of The Swapper and the questions that that game raises about the self, the soul, and the body, this week we take a look at another science fiction game with somewhat similar concerns, The Fall.
Instead of using cloning as a means of exploring the meaning of self identity, The Fall raises similar questions as The Swapper does through its consideration of how an artificial intelligence governs itself.
People have said that it’s hard to make a Superman game because he’s just too strong. How do you make fun combat or create any tension or excitement when your hero is literally invincible? In many of the reviews for the recent Godzilla game, I’ve been surprised by the assumption that making a Godzilla game should be easy. Fight a giant monster here, blow up a building there, and presto. Fun! Right?