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by Jorge Albor

10 Mar 2016


Firewatch (Campo Santo, 2016)

Sometime later this month or early next month, thirty-five masochists will meet up in Frozen Head State Park outside Wartburg, Tennessee to run what is widely accepted as the most difficult marathon in the world. The Barkley Marathon, held annually since its inception in 1986, has been finished only sixteen times. It’s a brutal, multiloop, hellscape of a race. It’s also an inspiring example of design.

When we criticize game design, we often bring up the concept of clarity in a variety of forms. How clear is the interface? How clearly does the game communicate its goals? Is progression clear? Does it tell the player where to go next? Or what things that the player is doing wrong? Clarity is an excellent game design goal. Except for when it isn’t.

by G. Christopher Williams

9 Mar 2016


Dungeon of the Endless (Amplitude Studios, 2014)

I used to say that my favorite games were puzzle games and RPGs. Then, for awhile, I was all about open world games. In more recent years, though, my favorite games, the ones I keep coming back to again and again, include The Binding of Isaac, FTL, and This War of Mine. More recently, I have really gotten into both Darkest Dungeon, Tharsis and The Flame in the Flood. This week, thanks to a sale in the Humble Store, I have started playing an unhealthy amount of Dungeon of the Endless.

So, yeah, I’m kind of addicted to death, my own.

by Boen Wang

8 Mar 2016


Max Caulfield and I are the same age. When you first check Max’s phone in Life is Strange, you can read texts from her parents wishing her a happy 18th birthday. A quick glance at Max’s journal and you notice the year is 2013.

I turned 18 in 2013. I legally became an adult, gained the right to vote, and started my senior year of high school. So did Max. It’s a strange sensation to be peers with a video game character, especially in a game full of references to real-life movies, books, and music. Max and I both watched Primer (and were confused out of our minds), read Ray Bradbury, and listened to Alt-J. I started wondering what else we had in common.

by G. Christopher Williams

7 Mar 2016


Metal Gear Solid V marks the end of nearly 30 years of the Metal Gear saga, one of the longest running series in video gaming history—at least with its creator Hideo Kojima at the helm. It seems important to consider the game given Kojima’s effort to wrap up the series by connecting its latter day iterations with its origins, but also how even now how inventive Kojima is in reconsidering the game’s mechanics and gameplay.

So, this week we consider this fresh, but final take by Kojima on the world of Solid Snake and Big Boss, a stealth game executed astonishingly well within an open world setting.

by Nick Dinicola

4 Mar 2016


2015 was a good year for detective games: Her Story was great, episode four of Life is Strange had a cool sequence in which we run down all the evidence that we’ve collected over the past three episodes, but most unexpectedly, Assassin’s Creed: Syndicate brought back the detective side-missions from the last game with a wealth of improvements. Her Story may have been the better game, Life is Strange may have been the bigger mystery, but Syndicate had the most versatile and fully-featured detective gameplay that I’ve seen in a while. We investigated various murders, some elaborately staged and some simple crimes of passion, we collected evidence, questioned suspects, then contrasted the two against each other in order to discover motive, opportunity and an overall timeline of events complete with red herrings and dead ends.

//Mixed media
//Blogs

Getting Social with 'Dark Souls III'

// Moving Pixels

"If I invade and murder you, it’s for your own good. I swear.

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