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Friday, Aug 22, 2014
You’re not just interacting with a particular font, but everything that contributed to the history of that font as well.

Type:Rider is an iOS platformer that doubles as a history lesson of the written word. You play as the symbol for the colon, which in this case acts as a pair of wheels. You tilt your device to roll the colon and press a single on-screen button to jump.


The environment is your teacher, as most of the levels are made out of letters. Each level in Type:Rider focuses on a different font. That typeface is tilted and slanted in ways that make movement possible. This kind of level design is particularly clever because there’s really no better way to understand the little difference between fonts than when you’re jumping over and around and through them.


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Friday, Aug 15, 2014
To fall off-screen is to cease to exist. Off-screen is death, and an auto-scrolling screen is Death on a mission.

Nihilumbra is an interesting puzzle platformer about a little piece of nothingness that tries to become something more. You’re a piece of The Void that suddenly finds itself born into the living world. As you explore, you gain new abilities and learn what it means to be alive. However, The Void chases you wherever you go, consuming everything in its path in a single-minded quest to become whole again.


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Friday, Aug 8, 2014
Tower of Fortune has been an enlightening reminder of what “random chance” really means.

Tower of Fortune is an iOS RPG that has you climbing the titular tower to rescue your daughter. It’s a stripped down experience, perfect for mobile platforms: You only have to manage a few stats, and you only have one attack. You eventually earn new swords and equipment that make you stronger, but in truth, there’s very little tactical depth to the game. Everything from combat to fun times at the pub—actually, that’s kind of all you can do. That’s the totality of Tower of Fortune, fighting and drinking—all of which is determined by random chance. And this is not a bad thing.


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Friday, Aug 1, 2014
One Finger Death Punch is about the visceral, addicting, and euphoric pleasure of the fight.

One Finger Death Punch is a brilliant game that manages to wring every drop of entertainment and excitement out of a simple concept. It’s a 2D martial arts fighting game that evokes nostalgic memories of those pre-YouTube viral videos Xiao Xiao, which show stick figures battling it out in impressively animated and choreographed action scenes.


You are a student of the martial arts, on a journey to… y’know, it doesn’t matter. You travel around a map and get in lots of fights. The story is nonexistent. One Finger Death Punch is about the visceral, addicting, and euphoric pleasure of a fight. It’s about the beauty of violence, the ballet of combat, and every system in the game works to reinforce these ideas. As such, One Finger Death Punch may be the most mechanically perfect game since Fez.


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Friday, Jul 25, 2014
Is story so tangential to the gaming experience that even a self-professed story-lover can play an entire game and not glean a single plot point from it all?

I hate skipping cut scenes. I never do it. I understand wanting to get into the game quickly, but cut scenes are important. They’re part of the experience, whether you like them or not, and they’re a major mouthpiece for what the game is about thematically. Beyond that, I’m very interested in how games tell a story, their ambition versus the reality of execution. Often the failures are just as interesting as the successes.


But all that didn’t stop me from skipping the cut scenes in Sniper Elite 3, and the one important story cut scene in the Destiny beta. I know, I’m a bad person, but I just didn’t care. I didn’t care about the characters, I didn’t care about the plots, and I didn’t care about the themes. I didn’t care about anything those games had to say, and I don’t know exactly why.


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